On January 21, 2020, the Supreme Court denied the House of Representatives’ request to expedite a verdict challenging the unconstitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (Texas vs. Azar). This ruling is a result of the December 18, 2019 federal appeals court decision that the individual mandate established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) be deemed unconstitutional. The decision was based on the lawsuit filed in 2018 in the lower courts by 18 states declaring that since the individual mandate penalty was eliminated, the ACA individual mandate should no longer apply. The federal appeals court agreed with the lower court’s ruling and sent the decision back to the lower courts to determine next steps and if the individual mandate provision can be removed from the ACA completely or if the ACA, as a whole, would be classified as unconstitutional and should be eliminated. However, the House of Representatives, as well as several states, requested that the Supreme Court expedite the ruling on the case and make a determination prior to the lower courts issuing their ruling. The Supreme Court denied the motion to expedite a decision and referred the case back to the lower court.
Although the Supreme Court determined that the next step for the ACA ruling be determined in the lower courts, it is presumed that it will ultimately be appealed to the Supreme Court and could be held in litigation for some time. Thus, there are no immediate changes to the ACA. Cowden will continue to provide updates on this development as more information becomes available.
Contact your Cowden representative for more information on this or other compliance issues.