Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act

July 4, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Health System


In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), including a provision requiring individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. Although a majority of the court ruled that Congress could not mandate such activity under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, it held that the penalty for failing to purchase health insurance was functionally a tax, even if it was not labeled as such, and thus fell within Congress’s taxing authority.

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