Friday, October 22, 2010

Reform: majority continues to favor repeal; litigation continues

Though the first wave of its coverage provisions have been in effect since late September, the Affordable Care Act continues to be debated, both in the court of public opinion and in courts of law.

Approximately 55% of  "likely voters" surveyed on October 16 and 17 said that they favored a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, according to Rasmussen Reports. Since the passage of the ACA in March, support for repeal has ranged from a low of 53% to a high of 63%. Of the 40% who opposed repeal of the law, 30% said they "strongly oppose" repeal.

Party affiliation. Not surprisingly, support for the law is divided among party lines: Rasmussen found that 84% of Republicans and 57% of independents favor repeal, while 63% of Democrats oppose repeal.

Litigation continues. Even assuming that Republicans regain control of one or both Houses of Congress, garnering a veto-proof majority seems unlikely. However, court challenges to the law continue to move forward. Late last week, a Florida District Court allowed a constitutional challenge to the ACA to go to trial (State of Florida, et al. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 3:10-cv-91-RV/EMT). The challenge, brought by 20 states, contends in part that the individual mandate portion of the law violates the Commerce Clause. (Beginning in 2014, most individuals will be required to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.)

As we discussed earlier this month, a federal court in Michigan has concluded that the individual mandate does not violate the Commerce Clause. It seems inevitable that the Supreme Court will ultimately decide the law's fate. In the meantime, of course, compliance efforts must continue--go here for help with that.

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