On Thursday June 29th, the Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The court ruled 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the majority, that while the mandate requiring individuals to buy health insurance or pay a fine is not allowable under the Commerce Clause, it is allowable as part of Congress’ taxing power. The ruling also upholds the Medicaid expansion, which extends the program to individuals making under 133% of the Federal Poverty Level, but prohibits the federal government from withholding funding to states that do not comply. The entire decision is available on the Supreme Court’s website.
When fully implemented, the law will expand affordable coverage to nearly 5 million Californians, with communities of color representing the majority of those eligible for Medi-Cal coverage (72%) and for subsidies to purchase insurance in the Health Benefit Exchange (66%) starting in 2014.