Today the Affordable Care Act went before the Supreme Court. Oral arguments will continue tomorrow and run through Wednesday. Last Friday, the Affordable Care Act turned two, and the U.S. House voted to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board.
IN THE COURTS
Today marks the first day of oral arguments before the Supreme Court on challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s constitutionality. Today, the court is considering whether the legal challenges can be heard now, or if the justices are blocked from taking up the issue by the Anti-Injunction Act, which bars courts from hearing challenges to new taxes before they take effect. On Tuesday, the court will hear two hours of argument over the constitutionality of the "individual mandate." Then, on Wednesday, the Court will consider the questions: if it finds the health insurance requirement to be unconstitutional, can this requirement be severed from the Affordable Care Act so that the rest of the law would be allowed to survive? and do the law's new Medicaid provisions push the states too far? People began lining up to get in to the arguments more than 72 hours in advance. Protesters, supporters and reporters have been gathering around the Court to express their support or opposition.
AT THE AGENCIES
The Obama administration posted video testimony of individuals who have already been helped by the reform in a film titled, “The Story of the Affordable Care Act: From an Unmet Promise to Law of the Land.” A number of sources this week noted, however, that the President himself has not made any public appearances to discuss the law. President Obama's reelection campaign celebrated the second birthday of the health care law with mailers and phone calls to supporters.
ON THE HILL
On Thursday (3/22), the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) by a vote of 223 to 181. The vote's affect is likely to be symbolic only, as the Democrats in the Senate have enough votes to prevent its repeal. The board was empowered by the Affordable Care Act to analyze the drivers of Medicare cost growth and recommend to Congress policies to control those costs if spending exceeds a targeted growth rate.
On Tuesday (3/20), Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan, unveiled a new budget proposal, which calls for repealing the health care law.
On the two-year anniversary of the day the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell delivered the Weekly Republican Address, calling for repeal and replacement of the law.
IN THIRD PARTIES
Former CMS Administrator Don Berwick will be joining the Center for American Progress as a senior fellow.
On Monday (3/26), Tuesday (3/27), and Wednesday (3/28), the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act cases.
On Tuesday (3/27) at 2:00 p.m., the Alliance for Health Reform will host a live webinar titled, "Implementing Health Reform in the States."
To view our compilation of recent health care reform implementation news, click here.