U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Health Care Law

The U.S. Supreme Court announced this week that it will be taking up a case challenging the Affordable Care Act, the landmark health care law signed by President Barack Obama in 2010.

The Court’s actions will test the constitutional limits of the federal government and have major civil and human rights implications for millions of uninsured Americans who would be helped under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The arguments of those seeking to overturn the law have been rejected by three of the four appeals courts that have considered legal challenges to the ACA.

Among questions to be considered by the Court is whether the law’s central mandate requiring most individuals to buy health insurance is constitutional. The Court also agreed to consider the constitutionality of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.

The outcome of the Court’s ruling is critical to the constituencies represented by civil and human rights groups and other supporters of the ACA who pushed policymakers to create a more just and equitable health care system.

“[T]he ACA takes a momentous step toward ensuring that all Americans can benefit from affordable, high quality health care,” wrote Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president, in a letter to members of Congress opposing repeal of the Affordable Care Act.  “We strongly urge you to oppose any efforts to repeal this landmark legislation and to protect the important progress that Congress has made toward creating a just and equitable health care system.”