US Supreme Court Will Hear New Challenge to ACA

March 05, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court announced this week that it will review a December 2019 federal appeals court decision that held the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) individual mandate unconstitutional but did not decide whether the rest of the ACA can stand when the mandate is unconstitutional. 
The Supreme Court review will occur during its next annual term which begins in October 2020 and ends in September 2021.
The case stems from a challenge to the ACA filed in February 2018 in Texas that argues the ACA’s individual mandate is no longer constitutional under Congress’ taxing authority following a 2017 tax reform bill that reduced the individual mandate penalty to $0. Plaintiffs further argue that under a “severability” analysis, the entirety of the ACA is also unconstitutional because the alleged unconstitutional individual mandate is core to the entirety of the ACA. 
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in December 2019 agreed with the U.S. District Court judge in Texas that the individual mandate is now unconstitutional but overturned the judge’s ruling that the entirety of the ACA is unconstitutional. 
Nearly 200,000 Wisconsinites enrolled in ACA plans through Wisconsin’s health insurance exchange for the 2020 benefit year. According to the state’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, exchange marketplace enrollees in 61 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties have three or more insurers from which to choose – a large gain from the 46 counties offering that level of choice for 2019.

This story originally appeared in the March 05, 2020 edition of WHA Newsletter