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Is Health Care Reform Constitutional?

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Although challenges to the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are valuable for inspiring dialogue within and outside the legal community, they are unlikely to succeed in the face of decades of Supreme Court case law.

Sallie Sanford, Jurist

The ink had barely dried on the president’s signature when the lawsuits commenced. Three lawsuits filed in federal court now challenge the constitutionality of key provisions in the new health care reform law.

If a court does reach the merits in these lawsuits, it will almost certainly uphold the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Under existing case law, Congress has appropriate authority under either its power to regulate interstate commerce or its power to tax and spend for the general welfare. To find otherwise would require a significant shift in Constitutional jurisprudence.

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