When a law is passed, that’s not the end of the story. If opposition is staunch enough, every avenue is pursued to strike the law down, and the primary means for doing so is the court system. There has been much talk about the Constitutionality of the individual mandate, and thirteen states have already filed suit against the reform law. So what’s the deal?
Enter my friend, Mark Hall, an expert in health reform and Constitutional law at Wake Forest University. Writing recently for The Health Care Reform blog, Mark outlines four key concerns:
- States oppose the burden of an expanded Medicaid program
- States oppose the creation of state-level insurance exchanges
- States oppose the individual mandate to purchase insurance
- States have passed laws to nullify federal law in re: to the above 1 through 3
The bottom line is that these claims have little standing, and aren’t likely to be successful in court. For starters, as Mark explains, states aren’t obligated to participate in Medicaid or the exhanges, so points 1 and 2 are negligible. As to point 3, states don’t have legal standing to pursue what is an individual issue. Finally, regarding point 4, the Supremacy Clause dominates this issue. In short, the legal challenges to health reform are long shots.
For a more eloquent explanation of the issues, you can read Mark’s full post here.