Peter Yacobucci, assistant professor of political science, has appeared frequently on WBEN NewsRadio 930 AM/ 107.7 FM over the last several days as the nation awaited the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act.
"As we know, the court today upheld, by a five-to-four vote, the vast majority of the Affordable Health Care Act," said Yacobucci. "The most important portion to be upheld was the 'individual mandate' requiring most individuals to purchase health insurance or face a fine from the government. This provision could have been upheld through the commerce clause in the U.S. Constitution, but the justices rejected that argument in a five-to-four vote. However, they accepted the individual mandate by a five-to-four vote under Congress’s power to levy taxes."
In the short term, according to Yacobucci, the decision doesn’t have any significant effect; most of the provisions of the law doesn’t go into effect until 2014. Could it be repealed?
"It would be difficult," said Yacobucci. "For one thing, partisanship in Congress is making it hard to get anything done. But it’s also difficult because, although when polled most Americans don’t like the Affordable Care Act, they do like a number of its of its provisions. For example, more than two out of three Americans like the provision that keeps young adults covered on their parents' health insurance. People also like the provision that requires health insurance companies to cover treatment of pre-existing medical conditions."
Yacobucci said that the Affordable Care Act will continue to be a major issue. He said, "Everybody knew that, whatever the Supreme Court decided, this will be a big political issue in the fall elections."