Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

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Health care

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was a bill in the United States. It was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. It is also known as Obamacare.

Parts of the act[change | change source]

There are many parts to the health care law.

General[change | change source]

There is now no limit on how long a person can get health care from a company. If an insurance company wants to make people pay more for their coverage, they have to give an explanation of their decision to the public. The amount that a person pays for health care, called an insurance premium, must now be used by the insurance companies only for health care. This money cannot be used for other things, like paying workers.[1]

Health care that goes to preventing sickness is now free for many people. This is called preventive care. Health care plans now give people more choices for doctors. People can also get emergency health care at hospitals that are not covered by their health insurance.[1]

Children[change | change source]

Because of this law, children can use the health insurance of their parents until they are 26 years old. Children under 19 years old have to be given good health insurance by insurance companies, even if they are very sick before they purchase health insurance. This means that health insurance companies cannot limit coverage to only healthy children.[1]

Individual mandate[change | change source]

People who do not have health insurance will have to pay a tax until they get health insurance. This part of the act is called the individual mandate. The Supreme Court of the United States decided that the government has a right to give this tax under the United States Constitution. The amount that people will have to pay if they do not have health insurance will increase every year until 2016. Some people without health insurance will not have to pay this tax, such as poor people who cannot get insurance for free.[2]

Companies and workers[change | change source]

In 2015, companies that have more than 50 full-time workers will be responsible for giving these workers health insurance. Companies who have fewer than 50 workers will not have to do this. A full-time worker is a person who works for more than 30 hours a week at one job.[3]

Health insurance marketplace[change | change source]

If you do not have health insurance, then you can purchase insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace. You can also purchase insurance on the marketplace if the company that you work for gives you insurance and you are not happy with it. People can use the Health Insurance Marketplace to buy insurance on the website Healthcare.gov. If people want health insurance by January 1st, 2014, they have to register for the insurance on this market by December 15th, 2013. If they register after December 15th and they do not get health insurance by January 1st, then they will probably have to pay the tax from the individual mandate. There are ways to contact someone who works for the government if you have problems registering for health insurance on this market.[4]

Each health insurance on this market has to pay for a person’s prescription medicine, emergency health care, maternity care, mental health care, rehabilitation, and many other things. Maternity care is given to pregnant women to take care of their children.[4]

Medicaid expansion[change | change source]

Medicaid is health insurance given to poor people that is paid by the states and the federal government. Medicaid will be expanded so that more people can use it. States can choose if they want to expand Medicaid. If they choose to do this, then the federal government will pay for the majority of the cost of Medicaid.

Disapproval[change | change source]

Death Panel protest

Effect on companies[change | change source]

People were worried that companies would not hire new workers or would make people work for less than 30 hours in one week so that they would not have to pay for health insurance. There have been some stories of companies doing this, but there are no statistics to support it.[3]

Medicaid expansion[change | change source]

There are 27 states that are not happy with the Medicaid expansion. The Supreme Court of the United States decided that these states do not have to expand Medicaid, even if the federal government wants them to.[5]

Government shutdown[change | change source]

In October 2013, the government stopped working for 16 days because Republicans and Democrats could not agree on how to pay for the Affordable Care Act. They led to the shutdown of the government.[6] Over 800,000 people who work for the government were not paid during this time and the government had to pay them back after the shutdown ended.

Death panels[change | change source]

In August of 2009, Sarah Palin, a person who used to be a candidate for vice president, said to the news that the Affordable Care Act would create death panels. She said that these death panels would be a group of people who would decide whether or not an older person was to receive health care or whether they should die. Many news companies and people who do research have shown that what she said is not true.[7]

Legal challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act[change | change source]

Since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, there have been numerous actions in federal courts to challenge the legality of the legislation The information below tries to describe the legal challenges by date and case number of every case mounted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Format is date, case number, court, Constitutional Challenge [Y/N] All references should include date filed, actual government case number designations and status.[8]

May 17, 2016[change | change source]

On May 17, 2016, (1:16-cv-00587) United States Court of Federal Claims District of Columbia. Constitutional Challenge [N] Highmark Inc., First Priority Life Insurance Company et al v. United States The case challenges if Obama can decline to pay via the Health Insurance Risk Corridors programs in violation of Tucker Act 223 million dollars.[9][10][11]

October 22, 2015[change | change source]

On October 22, 2015, (7:15-cv-00151) United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Constitutional Challenge [Y] Texas, Kansasand the State of Loisiana. v. US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Burwell et al. The case challenges if the federal government can tax States via the Health Insurance Providers Fee programs in violation of the federal medicaid law.[12].[13]

April 28, 2015[change | change source]

On April 28, 2015, (3:15-cv-00193-RS-CJK) United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida. Constitutional Challenge [N] Rick Scott and the State of Florida. et al v. US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Burwell et al. The case challenges if the federal government can coerce States into dramatically expanding their Medicaid programs in violation of the Supreme Court ruling held just three years ago that the Constitution prohibits it from doing. The government is threatening to cut off federal funding for unrelated programs unless they "agree" to do so by expanding Medicaid programs via Obamacare.[11][14]

January 26, 2015[change | change source]

On January 26, 2015, (2:15-cv-00321-ALM-NMK) United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Constitutional Challenge [Y]The State of Ohio. et al v. United States of America. Attorney General Mike DeWine on behalf of the state of Ohio et al challenges the "Transitional Reinsurance Program" of the ACA of 2010 to collect mandatory monetary "contributions" from State and local governments. [11][15][16][17]

November 21, 2014[change | change source]

On November 21, 2014, (1:14-cv-01967-RMC)United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Constitutional Challenge [Y]. The United States House of Representatives v. Burwell,et al was filed by the House of Representatives which challenges the "Payment of Funds to insurance companies" and other constitutional violations of the law. Jonathan Turley acted as the lawyer for this lawsuit and was paid by a contract with the House of Representatives . He is the third lawyer hired to do the lawsuit, since the first 2 lawyers dropped out due to political or other conflicts. As of May 29, 2015 the question of valid “standing” still had not been determined.[18][19][20] On May 12, 2016 U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled against the government use of funds to pay insurers. She also stayed her ruling to allow the administration an opportunity to appeal.[21]

July 29, 2014[change | change source]

On July 29, 2014, (1:14-cv-01287-RBW)United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Constitutional Challenge [Y]. The State of West Virginia v United States HHS,et al was filed by the office of Attorney General Patrick Morrisey which challenges the "Administrative Fix" and other constitutional violations of the law. State of West Virginia has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. Defendant (HHS) has requested an extension of time to respond until October 17, 2014. In April the AG office of Patrick Morrisey filed a motion for a ruling on Summary Judgment. On October 30, 2015 the case was dismissed. Notice of Appeal was filed on November 6, 2015, the same day the Supreme Court of the United States decided it will review the Contraceptive mandate of Obamacare by combining 7 similar challenges to the contraceptive mandate.[22][23] The case is titled Zubik v. Burwell and the 6 other challenges include Priests for Life v. Burwell, Southern Nazarene University v. Burwell, Geneva College v. Burwell, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington v. Burwell, East Texas Baptist University v. Burwell and Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Burwell.[11][22][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32] [33][34]

July 04, 2014[change | change source]

On July 4, 2014, (1:14-cv-01143-RBW)United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Constitutional Challenge [Y]. American Freedom Law Center, v. Obama et al was filed by the American Freedom Law Center which challenges that Obama has violated his constitutional duty to “faithfully execute” the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The State of West Virginia and Patrick Morrisey have filed a notice of related case on July 29, 2014. On June 3, 2015 a notice of appeal was filed[35][36]

January 6, 2014[change | change source]

On January 6, 2014(1:14-cv-00009-WCG/14-2723), United States District Court Eastern District Of Wisconsin, Constitutional Challenge [N] Senator Ron Johnson & Brooke Ericson v. U.S. Office of Personnel Management, et al. challenged that the government violates Section 1312(d)(3)(D), which was passed so Members of Congress and their staffs would be subject to the ACA in the same way as constituents and not get extra subsidies. 38 lawmakers joined the lawsuit by the senator. The court ruled the Senator did not have standing and dismissed the case. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago said Johnson also lacked legal standing by a unanimous three-judge panel in April 2015.[37][38][39][40][41][42]

December 31, 2013[change | change source]

On December 31, 2013, (1:13-cv-02066-CKK/14-5183) United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Constitutional Challenge [Y]. Cutler v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, et al. Cutler challenges the constitutionality of the Act, both on its face and as applied to him and his constituents. Cutler asserts that the provision requiring individuals to obtain health insurance coverage or face monetary penalties violates the religion clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and a previous Supreme Court Decision, "1947 Everson v Board of Education", and allows the government to favor one religion over another religion. The process of empowering the United States Government to Certify that applicable individual is part of EXEMPT RELIGION or SECT, Cutler seeks a declaration that the Act is unconstitutional, invalid, and unenforceable. Cutler also seeks to "rollback" the law to the status it had prior to 2014 on various grounds, arguing that the law NOW violates the Constitution by allowing unequal protection under the law.(If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep Your PLAN till October 1, 2016, but only if the insurance commissioner of your state agrees with the president[43]). Notice of Appeal was filed on July 25, 2014. On August 11, 2014 a notice of related case was filed for the case of State of West Virginia v United States HHS,et al (1:14-cv-01287-RBW). Lawyers David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise from the American Freedom Law Center are handling the appeal. On October 16, 2014 an injunction pending appeal was filed based on "unequal treatment under the law". Oral argumentss by Robert Muise May 12, 2015 of the American Freedom Law Center. The American Freedom Law Center also represents Pamela Geller. The event sponsored by Pamela Geller was attacked by 2 terrorists on May 4, 2015 in Garland Texas. C, a free speech rally outside the Phoenix mosque allegedly attended by Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, the two gunmen who were killed at the Garland, Texas, event hosted by Pamela Geller. On August 14, 2015 the DC court of appeals reversed the lower court on standing to sue over violations of the establishment clause, but stated essentially that since Social Security is legal the ACA is legal. On November 11, 2015 a petition was filed at the Supreme Court for the case [15-632]. On January 11, 2016 the Supreme Court announced it will decline to hear the case, even though the United States Government declined to respond to the petition.[15][44][45][46][47][47][48][49] [50][51][52][53][54][55][56][57]

October 30, 2013[change | change source]

On October 30, 2013, (1:13-cv-01214-WCG/14-2123). United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Constitutional Challenge [Y]. Association of American Physicians & Surgeons and Robert T. McQueeney, MD v IRS. On September 22, 2014, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago affirmed a Wisconsin federal judge's decision to dismiss a lawsuit filed last October by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc., and Robert T. McQueeney, who treat patients on a cash basis, and want to prevent everyone from being required to be covered by health insurance. The plaintiffs had sought an injunction blocking the IRS from collecting the penalty in 2014, on the argument that it would violate the Tenth Amendment and separation of powers.[58][59]

August 19, 2013[change | change source]

On August 19, 2013, (1:13-cv-01261-EGS) United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Constitutional Challenge [Y]. Priests for Life v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, et al. Father Frank Pavone and others through their lawyers, the American Freedom Law Center challenges the constitutionality of the law requiring organizations to provide health insurance which provides coverage for contraceptive methods that they feel violates their religious freedom or face monetary penalties violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The case was part of the newest Supreme Court challenge to the Contraceptive mandate of Obamacare called Zubik v. Burwell. The case ended with all appeals court decisions vacated and all 7 cases being sent back to district court by an 8 to 0 decision in the Supreme Court.[60][61]

December 4, 2012[change | change source]

On December 4, 2012 (12-cv-06744/13-1144)United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Constitutional Challenge [N]., Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation et al v. Sebelius et al was filed which challenged regulations by the Department of Health and Human Services requiring employers to provide their female employees with no-cost access to contraception which violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This amounted to an objection to 4 out of over 19 types of contraception. Case lost but was eventually combined with Hobby Lobby case and sent to the Supreme Court as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.. The Supreme Court found in favor of the company.[62][63][64][65][66]

September 12, 2012[change | change source]

On September 12, 2012 (12-CV-01000-HE/12-6294), United States District Court For The Western District Of Oklahoma, Constitutional Challenge [N] Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc et al v. Sebelius et al was filed which challenged regulations by the Department of Health and Human Services requiring employers to provide their female employees with no-cost access to contraception which violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This amounted to an objection to 4 out of over 19 types of contraception. Case won but was eventually combined with Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation case and sent to the Supreme Court as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.. The Supreme Court found in favor of the company.[63][65][66]

July 26, 2010[change | change source]

On July 26, 2010, (1:10-cv-01263-RJL/13-5202)United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Constitutional Challenge [Y]. Sissel v United States HHS,et al was filed which challenges the "Individual Mandate" and other constitutional violations of the law. The case was amended to challenge the constitutionality as a violation of the "Origination Clause" of the constitution . On July 29, 2014 the court rejected plaintiff's argument that the fact that Section 5000A may have been enacted solely pursuant to the taxing power brought it within the ambit of the Origination Clause, noting that many exercises of taxing power have a primary purpose other than raising of revenue and thus are not governed by the Origination Clause at all.[11][67]

June 9, 2010[change | change source]

On June 9, 2010, (1:10-cv-00950-GK/11-5047) United States District Court for the District of Columbia Constitutional Challenge [Y]. Mead v. Holder, Margaret Peggy Lee Mead and four other individuals, On March 11, 2011 Margaret Peggy Lee Mead withrew from the case and it became Seven-Sky v. Holder. Susan Seven-Sky became the lead plaintiff in the case. The American Center for Law & Justice ("ACLJ") represented the plaintiffs. The case was eventually heard by the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court found in favor of the government.[11][68][69]

March 23, 2010[change | change source]

On March 23, 2010, (6:10-cv-00015-nkmb/10-2347)United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. Constitutional Challenge [Y]. Liberty University, et al. v Timothy Geithner, et al was filed which challenges the "the requirement to have insurance that will pay for elective abortion" and violation of Article I and the First, Fifth, and Tenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. Appeal was started August 6, 2013[70][71][72][73]

March 23, 2010[change | change source]

On March 23, 2010(3:10-cv-00091-RV-EMT)United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida Constitutional Challenge [Y]Florida et al v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, 20 states (a figure that grew to 26 states following the mid-term elections), the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), and two uninsured individuals similarly argue that the individual requirement to purchase health insurance coverage exceeds the authority granted to the federal government under the U.S. Constitution.[5] The Florida suit also challenges other provisions of the law, including the tax penalty associated with the individual requirement, the Medicaid expansions and the establishment of state health insurance exchanges, the insurance market reforms, and the employer responsibility provisions of the ACA.[69][74][75]

March 23, 2010[change | change source]

On March 23, 2010(3:10-cv-00188/HEH) United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Constitutional Challenge [Y]Commonwealth of Virginia, Kenneth Cuccinelli v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al. In Commonwealth of VA v. Sebelius, Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli argues that Congress exceeded its Constitutional authority granted to it under the U.S. Constitution by requiring individuals to maintain health insurance. In addition, Attorney General Cuccinelli argues that because the federal law is an unlawful exercise of congressional authority, the law violates Virginia’s sovereignty because it invalidates a Virginia law protecting individuals from being forced to purchase health insurance.[74][76][76]

March 23, 2010[change | change source]

On March 23, 2010, (2:10-cv-11156-GCS/RSW/10-2388)United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Constitutional Challenge [Y]. Thomas More Law Center, et al. v Barack Hussein Obama, United States HHS,et al was filed by Robert Muise and Richard Thompson, which challenges the "Individual Mandate" and other constitutional violations of the law. Lawyers Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi became the lawyers of record on the case for the plaintiffs. On October 21, 2010 the court rejected plaintiff's arguments. This is considered the first legal challenge to Obamacare[11][77][78][79][80][81][82]


Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

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  2. NPR FAQ: Understanding The Health Insurance Mandate And Penalties For Going Uninsured. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
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