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Supreme Court Upholds the Constitutionality of the Health Reform Law

June 29, 2012

On Thursday, June 28th, the Supreme Court issued its decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  In a 5-4 decision, the Court upheld the constitutionality of the health reform law.  While the Court ruled that the health reform act’s individual mandate provision requiring all Americans to have health coverage could not be supported under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, the majority held that the tax imposed on those who don’t buy insurance is constitutional under the taxing powers granted Congress. 

The Court also upheld provisions of the law which expanded eligibility for Medicaid to a larger number of low income individuals, but specified that the law’s provision denying federal Medicaid funding to states that don’t expand eligibility is not acceptable. Chief Justice Roberts wrote the majority decision and was joined by Justices Ginsberg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan in upholding the Act.

NAR, along with other organizations with an interest in the outcome of the health care debate, will now review the decision in more detail and will provide more information once the review is completed.

Since the measure was upheld, the law’s popular underwriting and rating reforms already in effect, i.e. the ability of young adults to stay on their parents’ policies, reduction in Medicare Part D copays, etc., as well as those going into effect in 2014, such as the ban on denying coverage on the basis of a preexisting condition or setting insurance premiums on the basis of health status or sex, will remain intact.  

For more information on how specifics of the Affordable Care Act as it was originally approved, please consult NAR’s FAQ on the reform law located at:

Marcia Salkin, msalkin@realtors.org,  202-383-1092