Could there be life sans individual mandate for the Affordable Care Act?

Mar 29, 2012

Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Constitutionality Of Health Care Law

The west front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on March 28, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today is the last of three day the high court set to hear arguments over the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

At the core of the Affordable Care Act is the individual mandate, which requires that, by 2014, everyone purchase health insurance or pay a penalty.

Without full participation, the federal government has argued that the health care system in the United States remains economically unviable. Today the Supreme Court considers whether, if the individual mandate is struck down, can the rest of the act be salvaged? Last year the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta said yes, the balance of the law could survive, but many, including Justice Antonin Scalia, believe that the law could not survive without its “heart.”

What components might be able to stand on their own? Join Patt and her guests to find out.


Kavita K. Patel, adjunct assistant clinical professor at UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine

Robert Zirkelbach, press secretary, America’s Health Insurance Plans

Gail Wilensky, economist and senior fellow at Project HOPE, an international health foundation

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