Monday, April 10, 2017

H is for Healthcare

National Federation of Independent Business v. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
[June 28, 2012, decision 5-4]

In one of the most anticipated rulings in recent history, the Supreme Court upheld most of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act [ACA or “Obamacare”] - the signature legislation of his first term - including the individual mandate, which requires that most Americans buy health insurance or pay a fee. The individual mandate was the centerpiece of the law. The Court ruled 5–4 that the individual mandate is constitutional under Congress's taxing authority.

"The Act requires that certain people pay a financial penalty for not purchasing health insurance and may reasonably be characterized as a tax.  Because the Constitution allows such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to judge its fairness or wisdom.  The Federal Government (Defendant) does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance.  The Federal Government (Defendant) does have the power to impose a tax on those who do not do so.  Therefore, the Act is constitutional, because it can reasonably be read as a tax."

The Medicaid expansion provision was declared unconstitutional, because it did not allow the states to opt out without penalty.

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (2014)

Closely held, for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby have free exercise rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.  As applied to such corporations, the requirement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that employers provide their female employees with no-cost access to contraception violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Did you guess right?
Here's Tuesday's hint - I is for Inequality.  Can you guess the case and what it's about?  Leave a comment!


  1. For some reason I did not receive email notifications yesterday or today. I did not guess this since I wasn't thinking of anything recent.

    1. There are a few recent cases for this challenge, so think way back and also really recent =)