Obamacare's (3) Day(s) in Court

CHEST: Official Publication of the American College of Chest Physicians, Vol. 141, Page 1389

Boston Univ. School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 12-32

7 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2012

See all articles by Abigail R. Moncrieff

Abigail R. Moncrieff

University of Texas at Austin School of Law

Date Written: June 5, 2012

Abstract

Before the oral arguments in late March, the vast majority of legal scholars felt confident that the Supreme Court of the United States would uphold the individual mandate against the constitutional challenge that twenty-six states have levied against it. Since the oral argument, that confidence has been severely shaken. This article asks why legal scholars were so confident before the argument and what has made us so concerned since the argument. The article posits that certain fundamental characteristics of health insurance - particularly its unusual role in steering healthcare consumption decisions, which distinguishes health insurance from standard kinds of indemnity insurance - should make the constitutional question easy, but the Obama Administration’s legal team was understandably hesitant to highlight those unique characteristics in its arguments. Because the Supreme Court justices seemed not to understand the uniqueness of health insurance without the government’s help and because the justices seemed unusually willing to adopt a new constitutional constraint in this case, the individual mandate appears to be in far greater jeopardy than we legal scholars anticipated.

Keywords: PPACA, Obamacare, Supreme Court, health law, constitutional law, public law

Suggested Citation

Moncrieff, Abigail R., Obamacare's (3) Day(s) in Court (June 5, 2012). CHEST: Official Publication of the American College of Chest Physicians, Vol. 141, Page 1389; Boston Univ. School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 12-32. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2078200

Abigail R. Moncrieff (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States

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