GLENVIEW, Ill. (GBOPHB) – The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday issued its opinion in the cases challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA). The Court held that the ACA’s minimum essential coverage provision, commonly called the “individual mandate,” is essentially constitutional. Chief Justice John Roberts joined Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to uphold the law. The ACA survives nearly entirely intact.
The individual mandate requires every American, with a few limited exceptions, to purchase and maintain health insurance coverage. The Court held that the command to purchase health insurance itself was not within Congress’ power to regulate commerce; however, it held that the penalty for individuals who do not have insurance is a tax. The Court therefore upheld the mandate as a tax under Congress’ very broad power to tax.
For a three-page downloadable summary in PDF format from the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church about the ACA decision, click here. This document also is available on the Indiana Conference website under Benefits at Healthcare Reform Act of 2010.