The Supreme Court Is Reshaping American Healthcare
Written by Editor   
Thursday, June 25, 2015 07:55 AM
Quick Brief:  For decades the Supreme Court rarely engaged in major debates over healthcare policy.  Under Chief Justice Roberts, the court will have done more to shape the future of American healthcare than any other in decades. If that doesn't define an activist court, what does?

 

For decades the third branch of government, the Supreme Court, rarely engaged in the major debates over healthcare policy, leaving those decisions to Congress and the Executive Branch.  No more. Under Chief Justice Roberts, this Supreme Court has already done more to drive healthcare policy than any other, at least in my memory.

First, it ruled in 2012 that the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) individual insurance mandate was constitutional; the same ruling found that the federal government couldn't require states to expand Medicaid. Last year, it ruled that some for-profit corporations could opt-out of the ACA's contraceptive mandate because their owners' religious objections.

It is now poised, as early as next week, to issue two momentous opinions that could affect healthcare for generations. It will decide whether the ACA's premium subsidies are legal in the 34 states that have opted to let the federal government run their exchanges. And it will decide whether same sex couples have a constitutional right to civil marriage, and, with it, the same rights to access healthcare as other married couples.

How you feel about the recent Supreme Court rulings on upholding the ACA's individual mandate, making Medicaid voluntary, and allowing for-profit companies to opt-out of benefit requirements that are contrary to their owner's religious beliefs, or how you will feel about its upcoming decisions on same sex marriage and the ACA's premium subsidies, probably depends on your own underlying political leanings. 

Yet what is clear to me is that the Roberts court will have done more to shape the future of American healthcare than any other in decades, and the consequences of its decisions will be debated for generations. If that doesn't define an activist court, what does?

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Source:  http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/PublicHealth/52223