Somin Comments on Anticipated Supreme Court Ruling

As the Supreme Court nears time to issue its ruling on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Professor Ilya Somin says he does not believe the federal government's arguments in support of the individual mandate will withstand the Court's scrutiny.

"When you look at each one of them closely, they all break down against inspection," Somin says.

The High Court is expected to rule this week on the controversial health care act, which it could uphold or strike down in full or in part. Regardless of the action taken by the Court, Somin expects health care to remain an issue.

"I think it's a safe bet that the health-care cost debate is going to persist," he remarks.

America Awaits Supreme Court's Ruling on Health Reform Law,, June 18, 2012. By Karen Pallarito.

"In the two years since its passage, the Affordable Care Act has been the target of multiple lawsuits, with a handful of cases working their way through the federal appellate court system.

"In previous cases, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington upheld the individual mandate. But the courts have not ruled in lockstep. The 11th Circuit in Atlanta found the mandate unconstitutional but allowed the rest of the law, including the Medicaid expansion, to stand.

"Last November, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments from two 11th Circuit cases filed by the National Federation of Independent Business and a 26-state coalition led by the State of Florida.

"In March, the high court heard oral arguments on the Medicaid expansion and the individual mandate as well as the mandate's severability from the rest of the law. It also considered whether the fine for not buying insurance is a 'penalty' or a 'tax.' That distinction is important because federal law bars the court from ruling on a tax dispute before the tax is levied."