Entries in Indiviidual Mandate (5)


Health Care Law Mandate ‘Tax’: How Many People Will It Affect?

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The health insurance mandate upheld today by the Supreme Court will impact roughly 26 million Americans, or 8 percent of the population, according to a recent study by the Urban Institute and an independent analysis by MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, who advised both Mitt Romney and President Obama on health care law.

Those individuals will be required to obtain coverage or pay a fine starting in 2014.

Not everyone will be forced to pay out of pocket, however. Here’s how it breaks down – courtesy of the Urban Institute:

  • 8.1 million will be eligible for free/close-to-free insurance through expansion of Medicaid under the law.
  • 10.9 million will have to purchase coverage but receive subsidies to help with premiums
  • 7.3 million (2 percent of population) will not be eligible for any assistance and will simply have to buy a plan or pay the penalty.

The mandate will not directly impact most Americans.  Two hundred fifty million out of 268 million non-elderly, or 94 percent, of Americans already have insurance coverage through an employer or the government and don’t face the penalty or having to buy a new plan.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Justices to Vote on Health Care Law's Individual Mandate

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Now that the Supreme Court has heard more than six hours of arguments in the health care case, in many ways the work of the justices has just begun.

On Friday, they will meet behind closed doors in their ornate conference room and discuss the heart of the case -- the individual mandate that requires almost every American to buy health insurance. 

If tradition holds, the conversation will begin with Chief Justice John Roberts, and then every other justice will speak in order of seniority.  A vote will be recorded. 

No one, not a clerk, administrative assistant or staff member is allowed in the room.  If there is a knock at the door -- with someone bringing a law book or a glass of water -- Elena Kagan, as the junior most member of the court, will have to see who is there.

If Roberts is in the majority, he has the power to assign the opinion in the case or keep it for himself.  If he is in dissent, the justice with the most seniority in the majority will assign the opinion.

In this complicated case, which included four separate arguments on different aspects of the health care law, there could be more than one justice assigned to the task of dealing with all the issues. 

Last Wednesday, the justices met in conference to discuss the first set of arguments held on Monday regarding whether it is premature for the court to hear the case.  From arguments, it seemed clear that the justices would hear the constitutional issues.

Drafts will soon begin circulating to the chambers.  It is not unprecedented for a justice to switch sides during the drafting process, sometimes making a majority opinion a dissent.

Some justices have their clerks take a crack at the first draft of the opinion, others write it themselves.  But the clerks -- most justices have four -- are sworn to secrecy.  Leaks coming from the Supreme Court are almost unprecedented.

Popular belief is that the health care case will be released towards the end of June.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Supreme Court Hears ‘Obamacare’ Challenge on Individual Mandate

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the second day of arguments regarding health care, Supreme Court justices are considering the key constitutional issue, whether the government can compel Americans to buy health insurance or pay a fine or tax. That provision kicks in 2014.

The government argues that Congress had the authority to pass the law under the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause and its taxing power.

But opponents of the law – 26 states, four individuals and a small-business group – say Congress has no authority to force someone into the marketplace. They argue that if Congress has the power to pass the mandate, that would mean that the scope of its power is unlimited.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


As Health Care Law Trial Nears, 67% Say Ditch Individual Mandate

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Two-thirds of Americans say the U.S. Supreme Court should throw out either the individual mandate in the federal health care law or the law in its entirety that requires nearly all Americans to have coverage, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.

The latest findings signal the depth of public disagreement with that element of the Affordable Care Act. The survey finds that Americans oppose the law overall by 52-41 percent.  Sixty-seven percent believe the high court should either ditch the law or at least the portion.

The high court opens hearings on the law’s constitutionality a week from Monday.

The law has never earned majority support in ABC/Post polls, and this update, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds a strong sense its critics are dominating the debate. 

Seventy percent of Americans report hearing mainly negative things about the law lately; just 19 percent say the buzz has been positive.  Even among its supporters, 53 percent are hearing more negatives than positives.  Among opponents this soars to 88 percent.

Intensity of sentiment is more negative as well: Forty-one percent strongly oppose the law, while only a quarter strongly support it.

The Obama administration has long had difficulty convincing Americans of the benefits of the law.  In a January 2011 ABC/Post poll, for example, more people expected the law to increase rather than decrease the deficit (62-29 percent), hurt rather than help the economy (54-39 percent) and cut rather than create jobs (46-38 percent).

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Individual Mandate Unconstitutional, Appeals Court Rules

Comstock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- In a blow to the Obama administration Friday, a federal appeals court based in Atlanta has struck down a key provision of the recently passed health care law.

The Court ruled that Congress "exceeded its commerce power" in enacting the individual mandate which requires most Americans to buy health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax penalty.

While striking down the mandate -- which it  called "unprecedented"-- the Court ruled that it is severable from the rest of the law.
Because a separate appeals court upheld the provision in June, Friday's ruling increases the likelihood that the Supreme Court might eventually step in and hear the issue to resolve the circuit split in the lower courts.

This challenge was brought by 26 states, the National Federation of Independent Businesses and two individual plaintiffs.

Paul Clement, considered one of the finest appellate lawyers in the country, represented the states and argued that the case turns on "whether or not the federal government can compel an individual to engage in commerce."

On Friday the Court said that the individual mandate is "breathtaking in its expansive scope."

"It regulates those who have not entered the health care market at all. It regulates those who have entered the health care market, but have not entered the insurance market (and have no intention of doing so). It is overinclusive in when it regulates: it conflates those who presently consume health care with those who will not consume health care for many years into the future. The government’s position amounts to an argument that the mere fact of an individual’s existence substantially affects interstate commerce, and therefore Congress may regulate them at every point of their life. This theory affords no limiting principles in which to confine Congress’s enumerated power."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio