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Washington Highlights

AAMC Files Second Amicus Brief on ACA

January 20, 2012—The AAMC Jan. 13 joined several hospital associations in filing a second amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152) individual mandate. 

The brief states that the “Court should uphold the individual mandate for a simple reason: The way uninsured Americans pay—or are unable to pay—for the health care they consume ‘substantially affects’ interstate commerce.” It goes on to say, “Some 50 million Americans lack health insurance, the vast majority of them receive health care, and that care costs tens of billions of dollars each year. That cost is borne, in large measure, by third parties, including hospitals and health care systems as well as American taxpayers.”

The brief says that over the last decade, hospitals provided more than $300 billion in uncompensated care to the uninsured and underinsured, and the ACA reflects Congress' effort to address this crisis of the uninsured, which clearly has a substantial effect on interstate commerce.

The AAMC was joined in the brief by the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, Catholic Health Association, the National Association of Children's Hospitals, and the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems. This is the second Supreme Court brief filed by the hospital groups in the case challenging the constitutionality of the ACA [see Washington Highlights, Jan. 13], and a third brief will be filed in February addressing the ACA's expansion of Medicaid. The Supreme Court has scheduled oral argument on the ACA March 26-28.


Ivy Baer, J.D., M.P.H.
Senior Director and Regulatory Counsel
Telephone: 202-828-0499


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806