Two small-business groups are taking opposite sides as the U.S. Supreme Court begins three days of historic hearings about President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The High Court’s decision on the Act, which many call “Obamacare,” will have a huge impact on small businesses, legal experts explain for Reuters. Currently, the law:
- Requires employers with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance by 2014, or pay a penalty.
- Requires states to establish health insurance exchanges to provide cheaper and easier access to insurance plans.
- Allows states to enter into compacts, and allows insurers to offer policies across state lines.
A group called the Small Business Majority supports the Act, UPI reports. But another group, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, opposes the Act — and felt Justices on Monday were on their side.
Monday’s Supreme Court arguments focused on whether the Affordable Care Act’s penalty for not having insurance can be considered a “tax.”
If it is a tax, a law called the Anti-Injunction Act would prohibit federal courts from ruling on Obamacare until someone actually pays the tax and requests a refund. But Justices on Monday appeared skeptical about that argument, Fox Business reports.
“There was healthy skepticism on the part of most, if not all, of the Justices on whether or not the Anti-Injunction Act warrants challenge at this time,” the NFIB, which opposes Obamacare, said in a statement. “We feel good about our chances of the court going to the merits of whether or not the individual mandate is constitutional.”
Those arguments — about whether the individual mandate is within the scope of Congress’ Commerce Clause powers — will take place Tuesday.
Then on Wednesday, the Court will consider whether parts of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act can stand on their own, if other parts are found unconstitutional; and whether the Act’s expansion of Medicaid imposes an unconstitutional burden on states, Reuters reports. The Supreme Court’s decision in the case is expected by June.
- Health Care & Health Care Reform (Small Business Administration)
- Will Health Insurance Exchanges Impact You? (FindLaw’s Free Enterprise)
- Obamacare Lawsuits: The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Story (FindLaw’s U.S. Sixth Circuit blog)
- It’s a Date: Individual Mandate Oral Arguments March 26-28 (FindLaw’s U.S. Supreme Court blog)