If States Win Lawsuits Against Health Reform Law, How Might Pharma Fare?
While it’s likely to be 2012 before a final decision is handed down in lawsuits states have brought challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, questions are already arising about the possible impact on the law's pharmaceutical-related provisions if the states prevail.
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“The Pink Sheet” highlights intriguing, and perhaps telling, comments by U.S. Supreme Court justices from three days of oral arguments pertaining to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, including the constitutionality of the “individual mandate” for insurance coverage, its severability from other ACA provisions, and whether new Medicaid requirements are an unconstitutional coercion of the states.
At stake is the requirement for individuals to purchase health insurance and whether that provision is severable from the rest of the Affordable Care Act. From the pharmaceutical industry’s perspective, the most disruptive outcome would be to have the entire law overturned.
In Jan. 31 ruling that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, Judge Vinson declines to sever the provision from the remainder of ACA, meaning all pharma-related provisions would be struck down if the ruling stands.