This Week – March 30, 2012

This Week in Washington DC:

  • Fate of Health Care Reform Law Rests with Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Health Reform Law Oral Arguments
On Monday March 26, 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court began three days of oral arguments on whether certain provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (now known as the “ACA”) are constitutional, and if not, whether the rest of the law can remain intact. The ACA was signed into law in March 2010. The Supreme Court is expected to render a decision in June 2012.   

The Supreme Court agreed to hear the challenge to the ACA that involved 26 states, with Florida as the lead state. The federal district court in Florida found the individual mandate unconstitutional. The 11th Circuit Appellate Court in Atlanta upheld this ruling in August 2011 but also held that the law should remain intact (including the Medicaid expansion provision). Two other federal appellate courts (D.C. and 6th Circuit in OH) have upheld the constitutionality of the “individual mandate” provision under the Commerce Clause.

The three days of argument covered:

  • Monday, March 26: Whether the Anti-Injunction Act precluded the Court from hearing challenges to the constitutionality of the individual mandate until 2015.
  • Tuesday, March 27: Whether the “individual mandate” provision is constitutional.
  • Wednesday, March 28: Whether the mandate is “severable” from the remainder of the ACA if found unconstitutional, as well as whether the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid is lawful.

Please click the following link to read ACG’s detailed summary of each day’s events and discussion:

ACG will continue to update membership on this landmark case and will further educate membership on the potential impact to clinical gastroenterology.

Please stay tuned for further updates. Please also share and discuss your thoughts with fellow ACG members on the ACG GI Circle. To login and share your comments, go to and sign in as a member. Once you have done so, click here and then click the orange "Visit ACG GI Circle" button to be taken to the GI Circle site. If you have not yet activated your ACG GI Circle account, please email us at

Contact Brad Conway, VP Public Policy, with any questions or for more information.

Brad Conway