March 29, 2012
On March 26, 2012, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments in a case brought about by 26 states and a group representing small businesses. The case covers the constitutionality of the individual mandate provision and the health care reform law included in the Affordable Care Act.
The Supreme Court is meeting to decide the constitutionality of the individual mandate, the provision in the law that requires Americans to have health insurance. If it is found unconstitutional, the court will have to determine whether or not the provision is severable from the Affordable Care Act. A ruling is not expected to be made until June. If passed, the individual mandate will go into effect in 2014.
In addition to the Supreme Court review of the individual mandate, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a hybrid bill that repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) with limits to medical malpractice awards. This bill currently sits in the U.S. Senate and is awaiting the health care reform ruling from the Supreme Court before proceeding further.