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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the "ACA") has survived two potentially treacherous trips to the Supreme Court. The first of the two cases presented a challenge to its very constitutionality. The Supreme Court ultimately determined in that case that, while the ACA was not valid exercise of Congress's power under the Constitution's Commerce Clause, it did represent a valid exercise of Congress's taxing power.
It looks like the ACA may visit the Court for a third time. In the case of Texas v. U.S., the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas held on December 14, 2108 that, when Congress in reforming the tax laws in 2017 eliminated the ACA's penalty on individuals for failing to procure insurance required by the ACA's individual mandate, the ACA's individual mandate was rendered unconstitutional. In addition, the court held that, because the individual mandate is essential to ACA's overall scheme, the entirety of the ACA has been rendered unconstitutional, as well.
It would be an understatement to say the least to suggest that the impact of the Texas decision would be far-ranging, if the case is upheld on appeal. But will the case be upheld? What is the proper analytical framework? And where might the elimination of the ACA leave us?
Please join Christopher P. Kenny of King & Spalding LLP and Andrew L. Oringer of Dechert LLP as they address:
- The background surrounding Texas v. U.S., what the court did and where we are now;
- A possible framework for analyzing the court's decision; and
- Where we might go from here.