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Prof. Allison Hoffman explains SCOTUS decision that keeps the Affordable Care Act intact

June 17, 2021

The Supreme Court has issued an opinion in California vs. Texas, the latest challenge to the ACA, that leaves the law fully intact.

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School Professor of Law Allison Hoffman explains the ruling:

The Court decided the case on the basis of standing, a doctrine that limits the circumstances in which people can sue, opining that the individual plaintiffs and plaintiff states were not harmed by the individual mandate with a zeroed out penalty and thus had no grounds on which to sue.

This procedural decision meant that that the Supreme Court avoided addressing the more controversial substantive questions about the legality of the individual mandate and whether, if it were illegal, the whole law should fall. The decision is consistent with others in recent years where the Supreme Court has narrowed the ability of aggrieved parties to bring suit.

Hoffman, an expert on health care law and policy, examines some of the most important legal and social issues of our time, including health insurance regulation, the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and retiree healthcare expenses, and long-term care.

Her current projects evaluate the adoption of a public health insurance option, consider the future of long-term care and end of life care policies and regulation especially in light of the impact of COVID-19, and critique how economic theory has overly shaped the development of health law and policy.