Health Care Reform and the Constitution

40 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2012  

Sylvia Ann Law

New York University School of Law

Date Written: September 19, 2012


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is the most significant reform of the U.S. healthcare system since Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. Health care is politically divisive in the Congress, the Supreme Court and in the states. This talk explores these divisions. This paper first provides a short history of health care financing in the United States. Second, I sketch the major provisions of the act and the politics that produced it. Third, I briefly describe the Supreme Court’s decision and speculate on the impact it might have on the regulation of health care financing and on constitutional law more generally. Ultimately, the future of health care reforms lies in the hands of the states, and is dependent upon the results of the elections on November 6.

Keywords: affordable care act, health care reform, Constitution, Sebelius, John Roberts

Suggested Citation

Law, Sylvia Ann, Health Care Reform and the Constitution (September 19, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Sylvia Ann Law (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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