Health Law Debated in Supreme Court | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Health Law Debated in Supreme Court

March 26, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is being challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court, after multiple lawsuits from 26 different states took on various provisions of it, with detractors arguing for the law's unconstitutionality during the oral arguments taking place this week. The nation's highest court is examining the healthcare reform law, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in March 2010. Of the four federal appellate court rulings preceding the Supreme Court's consideration of the law, two upheld the ACA in its entirety; one ruled the plaintiffs to be without legal standing to bring a case; and a fourth struck down the individual mandate for health insurance purchase as unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court's nine justices will reportedly make a final decision in June. If the court's majority rules the law unconstitutional, it would deal a policy and political setback to President Obama and Democrats in Congress, who have championed healthcare reform as a centerpiece legislative achievement. Meanwhile, all the major Republican presidential candidates have vowed to overturn the ACA legislatively if elected.

Two major aspects of the ACA being debated this week in oral arguments are the individual mandate, which requires most Americans to maintain a minimum level of health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty (administered as a tax), and the Medicaid expansion. One federal appellate court has struck down the constitutionality of the individual mandate, while none have ruled against the Medicaid expansion. For a complete look at all of the issues the Supreme Court will debate when it comes to the ACA, check out this guide from the non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation.

For those inclined to check out the opening arguments to the ACA case, the Supreme Court has posted them on its website.

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



Epic Wins Labor Dispute in Closely Divided Supreme Court Decision

Epic Systems Corporation won a major labor-law ruling in the Supreme Court on Monday, centering around the extent of corporations’ right to force employees to sign arbitration agreements, and with a 5-4 ruling in its favor

Survey: Two-Thirds of Physician Practices Seeking Out Value-Based Care Consulting Firms

Most physician organizations are not prepared for the move to value-based care, and 95 percent CIOs of group practices and large clinics state they do not have the information technology or staff in-house needed to transform value-based care end-to-end, according to a recent Black Book Market Research.

Cumberland Consulting Buys LinkEHR, Provider of Epic Help Desk Services

Cumberland Consulting Group, a healthcare consulting and services firm, has acquired LinkEHR, which provides remote application support, including Epic help desk services.

Population Health Tool that Provides City-Level Data Expands to 500 Cities

A data visualization tool that helps city officials understand the health status of their population, called the City Health Dashboard, has now expanded to 500 of the largest cities in the U.S., enabling local leaders to identify and take action around the most pressing health needs in their cities and communities.

Trump will Nominate Acting VA Secretary Wilkie for Permanent Position

Just a day after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Cerner inked their $10 billion EHR (electronic health record) deal, President Trump said he would be nominating Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie for the permanent position.

ONC Names API Server Showdown Stage 2 Winner

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has named 1UpHealth as the Stage 2 winner of the “Secure API Server Showdown” challenge.