Is Health Reform Constitutional?

JURIST Legal News and Research, April 2010

5 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2011 Last revised: 1 Aug 2011

Sallie Thieme Sanford

University of Washington - School of Law

Date Written: April 1, 2010


This article, written shortly after the first health reform lawsuits were filed, considers the key constitutional challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It argues that the law is within Congress’ authority, and that to find otherwise would require a significant shift in Constitutional jurisprudence.

Keywords: Health Reform, Health Care Reform, PPACA, ACA, Constitution, Commerce Clause, Tax and Spend Authority, Inactivity, Individual Mandate, Medicaid Expansion, Standing, Ripeness

Suggested Citation

Sanford, Sallie Thieme, Is Health Reform Constitutional? (April 1, 2010). JURIST Legal News and Research, April 2010. Available at SSRN:

Sallie Thieme Sanford (Contact Author)

University of Washington - School of Law ( email )

William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States

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