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Health Law and Policy Commons

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Columbia Law School

Health insurance

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Full-Text Articles in Health Law and Policy

Constitutional Uncertainty And The Design Of Social Insurance: Reflections On The Obamacare Case, Michael J. Graetz, Jerry L. Mashaw Jan 2013

Constitutional Uncertainty And The Design Of Social Insurance: Reflections On The Obamacare Case, Michael J. Graetz, Jerry L. Mashaw

Faculty Scholarship

In 2010, Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the ACA), a complex statute of more than nine hundred pages that fulfilled his goal of extending health-insurance coverage to virtually all Americans – an objective that previous U.S. presidents had sought and failed to achieve for a century. This legislation was hotly contested in the Congress, passing with the support of very few Republicans in the Senate and none in the House.

To broaden access to health insurance, the ACA relies primarily on two devices: (1) an expansion to Medicaid – a joint federal-state health-insurance program for – to ...


Constitutional Uncertainty And The Design Of Social Insurance: Reflections On The Obamacare Case, Michael J. Graetz, Jerry L. Mashaw Jan 2012

Constitutional Uncertainty And The Design Of Social Insurance: Reflections On The Obamacare Case, Michael J. Graetz, Jerry L. Mashaw

Faculty Scholarship

The gravamen of the constitutional complaint against the individual mandate is its supposed intrusion on personal freedom. But, when all was said and done, no one attacked a state government’s requirement that individuals must purchase health insurance, nor advanced any constitutional limitation on the states doing so. All we have is a holding that if the federal government wishes to do the same, it must exercise its powers to tax and spend, not its power to regulate. The ACA case then is best understood as a legal attack on the means but not the goals of the health care ...