//  12/15/18  //  Commentary

And I've got an op-ed in the Washington Post about why the court is wrong. Here's a taste:

Who cares if a zero-dollar mandate is constitutional or not? Why does it matter in the slightest? And what on earth does it have to do with the rest of ACA?

You might have thought that the right remedy would be to invalidate the penalty-free mandate. Doing so would align with Congress’s evident view that an ACA without an individual mandate was preferable to an ACA with it. That’s what I argued in an amicus brief with a bipartisan group of law professors.

Instead, the court held that the entire ACA was “inseverable” from the purportedly unconstitutional mandate. To reach that conclusion, the judge leaned heavily on Congress’s findings from 2010, where it said that the individual mandate was “essential” to the law.

But the mandate that the 2010 Congress said was essential had a penalty attached to it. The finding is irrelevant to a mandate that lacks any such penalty.

In any event, it doesn’t matter what Congress meant to do in 2010. It matters what Congress meant to do in 2017, when a different Congress made a different call about whether the mandate was essential. We know what Congress wanted to do in 2017: repeal the mandate and leave the rest of the act intact. Its judgment could not have been plainer. (I know. I was there! So were you. It wasn’t that long ago.)

You can read the whole thing here. My co-amici, Jonathan Adler and Abbe Gluck, have a New York Times op-ed sounding similar themes.

I'll probably write them up more extensively in the coming days, but I've also got tentative thoughts about the immediate consequences of the decision (short answer: nothing right now) and the potential difficulties with getting a quick appeal of the decision.

@nicholas_bagley

 


Blocking the Trump administration’s contraception rules (again).

1/14/19  //  Commentary

A federal judge in California has enjoined two rules that would greatly expand the exemptions to Obamacare’s so-called contraception mandate. As a result, they may never take effect in the thirteen states that brought the lawsuit.

Nick Bagley

University of Michigan Law School

Versus Trump: Contraception Mandate, Round Infinity

1/3/19  //  In-Depth Analysis

On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Charlie, Jason, and Easha comment on several cases addressing whether the Trump Administration may legally expand the number of employers who do not need to provide insurance that includes coverage for contraception. Listen now!

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

To Save Obamacare, Repeal the Mandate

12/21/18  //  Commentary

If congressional intent is the key to the Texas decision invalidating the Affordable Care Act, Congress can intervene. And the best way for it to do so is not to enter the litigation. It’s to legislate.

Nick Bagley

University of Michigan Law School

Richard Primus

University of Michigan Law School