Legal Limits and the Implementation of the Affordable Care Act

39 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2016 Last revised: 29 Apr 2017

See all articles by Nicholas Bagley

Nicholas Bagley

University of Michigan Law School

Date Written: December 1, 2016


Accusations of illegality have dogged the Obama administration’s efforts to implement the Affordable Care Act, the most ambitious piece of social legislation since the advent of Medicare and Medicaid. This essay takes a close look at the most hotly debated legal questions surrounding the ACA’s rollout. My hope is that a holistic and even-handed examination of the administration’s purported legal excesses will provide a useful focal point for understanding how law restrains executive discretion in a time of polarized politics. The essay closes with some thoughts about the status of executive lawbreaking in American constitutional culture and how to discipline such lawbreaking when it occurs.

Keywords: Affordable Care Act, executive power

Suggested Citation

Bagley, Nicholas, Legal Limits and the Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (December 1, 2016). 164 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1715 (2016), U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 492, Available at SSRN:

Nicholas Bagley (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States

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