The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to hear a challenge on whether the mandate that requires all Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine, which some call a tax, is constitutional. A decision could come as early as June 2012 right in the middle of the re-election campaign. 26 states have challenged the mandate under the Commerce clause.
Ironically, the Obama Administration will announce a $1 Billion in funding today to hire, train and deploy health care workers, part of the White House’s broader “We Can’t Wait” agenda to bolster the economy. Health care employment is growing steadily, with more than 300,000 jobs added in the past year
The Supreme Court said Monday it will hear a challenge to the health-care overhaul act passed in 2010, with a decision on President Obama’s most controversial domestic achievement likely to come in the summer of his reelection campaign.
The court said it will decide whether the Affordable Care Act exceeded Congress’s power by requiring almost all Americans to have health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty; whether the massive law can survive without the so-called individual mandate; and whether it is premature for the court to pass judgment on the act.
The question of whether it is premature hinges on whether the court decides that the penalty for failing to secure health insurance constitutes a tax. If such a penalty is equivalent to a tax, then — according to an earlier ruling by a lower court — any decision on the law’s constitutionality must wait until the tax is actually levied.