Update on Fifth Circuit’s Ruling on Constitutionality of Individual Mandate

By Cindy Amedee
Taylor Porter; Health Care Attorney

On January 21, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a motion to fast-track its review of the
U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling in December that the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional.

Following the Fifth Circuit’s decision, the “House of Representatives and Democratic-led states” filed the motion in an effort to have the Supreme Court take up the matter during its current term.

In its ruling, the Fifth Circuit also sent the case back to the U.S. District Court for it to determine whether the ACA can stand without the individual mandate. The uncertainty of the ultimate fate of the ACA has called into question many of its provisions, including without limitation, the prohibition against denial of coverage for pre-existing illness.

With the denial of the fast-track motion, it is unclear as to when the Supreme Court will review the Fifth Circuit’s ruling; however, it is unlikely that it will be this term. This means the ACA will likely remain in place during the 2020 election cycle.

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