Predicting the Supremes’ Decision on the Affordable Care Act
Law professor Mark Hall (Wake Forest) makes predictions in the latest NEJM about the Supreme Court’s decision on the recently argued Affordable Care Act (ACA)—specifically with respect to the constitutionality of the individual insurance mandate. (Although frankly, anyone who’s been watching this story could make the same predictions.)
- The 4 Democratic appointees (Ginsberg, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan) will vote to uphold the ACA (and thereby the individual mandate).
- Consequently only 1 Republican appointee is needed to side with the Democratic appointees to uphold the ACA. However, there is “no clear support” from the 5 Republican appointees (Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito). Nevertheless, Kennedy is historically a critical swing vote in close decisions, and his statements during the recent argument indicate that he is able to consider both sides of the issues.
- It is “very unclear” if the Supremes will toss the ACA, if the individual mandate is declared unconstitutional.
- While some justices appear to be against the Medicaid expansion (which was originally thought to be a non-starter), it is unlikely that there will be enough votes to 86 the provision.
A decision is expected by the end of June.