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Supreme Court Health Care Ruling: Preliminary Analysis & Implications Going Forward

Written by Gary E. Bacher, Alden J. Bianchi, Stephen M. Weiner, Alexander Hecht, Roy M. Albert, and Joshua Booth

The Supreme Court largely upheld the challenged provisions of the Affordable Care Act. However, its legal rationale, particularly in relation to the individual mandate, diverged from the main focus of the briefs and oral arguments which had focused on questions related to the scope of Congressional authority under the Commerce Clause.

The mandate requiring that most Americans maintain “minimum essential” health insurance coverage was upheld. Although it can be pointed out that a majority of the Court found that the provision was not a valid exercise of Congress’s Commerce Clause power (with potential implications for future cases), it determined that, constitutionally, the mandate can be treated as imposing a tax on those who do not have health insurance coverage and is within Congress’s taxing power.

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M. Daria Niewenhous is a Mintz Member with a well-established health care practice. National and local providers rely on Daria’s experience to navigate capital projects, mergers & acquisitions, integration, and other strategic initiatives; adverse events; and licensing, contracting, patient care/risk management, and other complex legal matters.