February 12, 2016

Awaiting Supreme Court’s decision

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule perhaps this week on the health care law President Barack Obama signed in 2010. Assistant law professor at University of Wisconsin Madison Andrew Coan says it could go either way, rather, many different ways. “The two extreme possibilities are that the court invalidates the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which has become popularly known as ObamaCare; the court could also uphold the entire Act, but there are a number of complex possibilities in between those two extremes.”

The individual mandate is a key element of the case before the court, and whether it is constitutional under the Commerce Clause. That portion of the law could be in jeopardy. Though, Coan says, it’s a dangerous path to try to predict the outcome of a Supreme Court case.

“But that is the most important provision of the law that seems like it might be in real jeopardy based on the questions and comments of the justices at the oral arguments.”

Regardless of your opinion on the legislation itself, Coan says, the High Court’s decision could have very significant implications for years to come, including on constitutional law, rule of the court, and the scope of national power versus state power. Coan says the impact of the law should be apparent relatively quickly after the decision, but the longer term legal implications will take some time to unfold.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:36

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