US Supreme Court’s Landmark Judgment: Affordable Care Act, 2010 Upheld.

Ramalingam By Ramalingam, 29th Jun 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>News>Health

The Upholding of the Affordable Care Act, 2010 by the Supreme Court of US will have far reaching consequences.Besides covering 17 million people who remain uninsured, the judgment will provide an added advantage to President Obama in his bid for seeking reelection for US President.

Affordable Care Act,2010

US Supreme Court’s Landmark Judgment: Affordable Care Act, 2010 Upheld.

Need for Affordable Care Act.

Judicial Battles Met by the Act.

Hearing and Proceedings of the Act in the Highest Court of Appeal

Land Mark Judgment

Dissenting Views


From the days of Truman, a universal health care act throughout US had always been a dream. Despite being an advanced country with an awareness towards the healthcare, still more than thirty million people in US remain uninsured. It was Obama’s farsightedness and self-belief with his favorite motto ‘we can’ prompted him to enact affordable care act, 2010.

Notwithstanding its proclaimed benefits, the act was stiffly opposed by the Republicans tooth and nail. Two particular issues, the individual mandate and the federal government’s extension of the Medicaid to all states became contentious. In a few circuit and appellate courts, the act was already reviewed. Two democratic judges upheld it and two other republican judges declared it invalid and unconstitutional. Finally, when the act came under the purview of the Supreme Court of US, the highest appellate court of US, the whole nation awaited the outcome.

During March, 2012, the arguments of the case in the Supreme Court of US lasted for more than 4 days the longest ever in the last 50 years of US history, representing the federal government and the states.

On 28, June, 2012, in the case of affordable care act, 2010, the landmark judgment was pronounced by the Supreme Court of US with a 5-4 verdict upholding the act.While 4 judges were dissenting calling the act unconstitutional in its entirety, 5 judges including the Chief Justice John Roberts upheld the act. Interestingly, though the Chief Justice did not accept the provision of individual mandate as it tried to force people to accept health insurance. On the other hand he accepted the provision for imposing penalty against those people who are not willing to purchase health insurance, calling it a tax and since the federal government is empowered to collect tax, and so he accepted the mandate.

On the issue of extending Medicaid to all the states of US, the Supreme Court did not accept federal government extending Medicaid against the unwilling states. On the other hand, the Supreme Court gave them an option. Those states which are unwilling to extend the Medicaid may retain their existing fund and they may not have federal funds in future and in the case of other states which are willing for the extension of the Medicaid will have the federal funding in future for the extension of Medicaid.

The republicans already opposed it in 2010, and now they are opposing it and they will oppose it in future and try for its withdrawal. The republican presidential nominee Romney owed to scrap the healthcare law when he comes to power. The four dissenting judges opposed the health care act in its entirety. In particular Judge Kennedy opined that though Congress in the issue of individual mandate contemplated only penalty, the Supreme Court converted it into tax and thereby committed an overreach.

The provisions contained in the act as to eligibility for affordable health care insurance are a bit cumbersome and complicated with as many as twelve provisions. It must be simplified. Though the act is intended to extend the health care insurance to the poor, still many poor people remains uncovered. In fact the affordable health care insurance is extended to those people up to 133 % of the federal poverty line. Many express doubts about the extension of Medicaid to various states. Though federal fund is provided in full to the Medicaid extending states, there will be a gradual reduction in federal funding from the year 2020 onwards, say it will be 90 % in 2020.The issue of imposing tax against those people who are unwilling to accept affordable health care insurance will be only in 2014.

In any event, the affordable care act, 2010 is the first of its kind to insure as many as 17 million people that remain uncovered in US.Another salient feature is that people with pre-existing diseases like diabetes will be covered under the affordable care act.The land mark judgment by the Supreme Court of US upholding the act is a significant victory for the President Obama administration. Perhaps it will be a major issue in the forthcoming presidential election campaign in November, 2012 between the Republican Romney and the Democrat Obama, and certainly the Supreme Court’s 5-4 verdict upholding Affordable Care Act, 2010, will play a crucial role in tilting the scale in favor of Obama.


2012 Elections, Affordable, Care Act, Chief Justice, Obama, Roberts, Supreme Court Of Us, Upheld

Meet the author

author avatar Ramalingam
I am a freelancer and practicing lawyer.I am interested in writing articles with special reference to legal topics, history and society.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
3rd Jul 2012 (#)

Nice informative article on the USA. Thank you.

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author avatar A K Rao
22nd Jul 2012 (#)

This is a welcome move by Obama for the needy and i sinceely appreciate it! thanks !

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