Several courts across the country have considered the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act—four courts have studied the law and reached the same conclusion as countless legal and health experts: Health reform is constitutional.
Today, a different court ruled that the individual responsibility requirement in the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional. It’s a decision with which the White House strongly disagrees and one that officials ultimately believe will not stand.
Stephanie Cutter, Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Advisor, argues that “people who choose to go without health insurance are making an economic decision that affects all of us.” And when those people receive health care, taxpayers and those with insurance are left to foot the bill.
Judge Sutton, a Judge in the Sixth Circuit who upheld the law, declared that the individual responsibility provision is constitutional and wrote: “In choosing how to regulate [people who choose to self-insure], Congress also did not exceed its power.”
Judge Martin, another Judge who upheld the law in the Sixth Circuit, said the Affordable Care Act is constitutional under the Commerce Clause because “(1) virtually everyone requires health care services at some unpredictable point; and (2) individuals receive health care services regardless of ability to pay. Virtually everyone will need health care services at some point, including….those without health insurance.”
That’s why the Affordable Care Act requires everyone who can afford it to take responsibility for their own health care and carry some form of health insurance.
Read Stephanie Cutter’s full response to today’s ruling on health reform.