Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida

Date Filed: 01/13/2012

LDF filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case, Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida, on the constitutionality of the minimum essential coverage provision, which requires persons covered by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) to maintain a certain level of health insurance, subject to a tax penalty.  At issue in the case is whether Congress exceeded its authority under the Commerce Clause when it enacted the provision.  Congress adopted the provision as the cornerstone of ACA’s promise to make health insurance and, ultimately, health care itself, more affordable.  The Court is also hearing challenges to other aspects of the law, including whether Congress acted within the scope of its spending power when it conditioned receipt of Medicaid funding on the states’ participation in the federal program.  

LDF’s brief argues that the minimum coverage promotes equality by alleviating the severe racial disparities in access to health care and advances liberty by enabling covered persons to lead healthier, freer, and more productive lives.  It further argues that Congress acted well within the scope of its constitutional authority.