On June 28, 2012—the last day of the 2011 term—the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision, with Chief Justice Roberts writing for the majority, that the individual mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Act”) is constitutional based on Congress’s taxing power. A key passage read from the bench by Chief Justice Roberts is as follows:
On March 12, 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the long-anticipated Final Rule and Interim Final Rules (the “Rules”) on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) state health insurance exchanges (“Exchange(s)”), a key element of President Obama’s healthcare reform plan. Set to go into effect on January 1, 2014, the goals of the Exchanges are to enhance competition, improve availability of affordable health insurance options and allow small businesses the same purchasing power that large businesses currently enjoy. As described in the Rules, the Exchanges will operate as competitive marketplaces, allowing individual consumers and small businesses to directly compare pricing and quality of health insurance options, among other factors.