Will the Supreme Court Upend The Affordable Care Act?

WED, APR 15, 2015 (1:09:37)

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recently heard a new set of arguments regarding the constitutionality of Affordable Care Act in King v. Burwell. The focal point of the case centers on the funding of insurance marketplaces and one particular section of the law that states subsidies should flow to customers “through an Exchange established by the state.” Plaintiffs argued that the plain language of the legislation means that only people in the state-run marketplaces – and not those in federally run marketplaces – can get the subsidies. The government’s defense relied on the contextual reading of the legislation and asked the Court to look at Congress’s legislative intent. This panel discussion will include an explanation of the plaintiffs’ position from one of the architects of the legislation as well as the counter arguments and practical realities of the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision from two other panelists.

This lecture will be of interest to any attorney who represents corporations and small businesses that provide health insurance for employees or represents employees enrolled in health care plans.

+ BIO: Jonathan Adler, J.D.

Jonathan H. Adler is Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law & Regulation at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he teaches courses in environmental, administrative, and constitutional law. Professor Adler is the author or editor of four books on environmental policy and over a dozen book chapters. His articles have appeared in publications ranging from the Harvard Environmental Law Review and Supreme Court Economic Review to The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. Professor Adler is a contributing editor to National Review Online and a regular contributor to the popular legal blog, "The Volokh Conspiracy." A 2007 study identified Professor Adler as the most cited legal academic in environmental law under age 40, and his recent article, "Money or Nothing: The Adverse Environmental Consequences of Uncompensated Law Use Controls," published in the Boston College Law Review, was selected as one of the ten best articles in land use and environmental law in 2008.

In 2004, Professor Adler received the Paul M. Bator Award, given annually by the Federalist Society for Law and Policy Studies to an academic under 40 for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and commitment to students. In 2007, the Case Western Reserve University Law Alumni Association awarded Professor Adler their annual "Distinguished Teacher Award." Professor Adler serves on the advisory board of the NFIB Legal Foundation, the academic advisory board of the Cato Supreme Court Review, and the Environmental Law Reporter and ELI Press Advisory Board of the Environmental Law Institute. A regular commentator on environmental and legal issues, he has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, ranging from the PBS "Newshour with Jim Lehrer" and NPR's "Talk of the Nation" to the Fox News Channel's "O'Reilly Factor" and "Entertainment Tonight."

Prior to joining the faculty at Case Western, Professor Adler clerked for the Honorable David B. Sentelle on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. From 1991 to 2000, Professor Adler worked at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market research and advocacy group in Washington, D.C., where he directed CEI's environmental studies program. He holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Yale University and a J.D. summa cum laude from the George Mason University School of Law.

+ BIO: Joseph White, Ph.D.

Joe White came to CWRU as Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Center for Policy Studies in July, 2000. He succeeded founding Director Kenneth Grundy, now the Marcus A. Hanna Professor Emeritus of Political Science.

Dr. White received his A.B. from the University of Chicago and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. While working on his doctorate at Berkeley, he also coauthored The Deficit and the Public Interest: The Search for Responsible Budgeting in the 1980s, (University of California Press and The Russell Sage Foundation, 1989 & 1991) with Aaron Wildavsky. He did his research for the book and his dissertation at The Brookings Institution, where he then became first a Research Associate and then Senior Fellow.

At Brookings Dr. White published numerous articles and book chapters on federal budget and appropriations processes, as well as testifying to Congress on budget process reform. He also began working on health care reform issues, writing Competing Solutions: American Health Care Proposals and International Experience (Brookings 1995). Dr. White then combined both health care and budget analysis with a focus on programs for the elderly, studying the supposed “entitlement crisis.” In 1998 he became Associate Professor of Health Systems Management in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University, and in his two years at Tulane published a series of articles on health care cost control, “managed care,” and budgeting for entitlements, while completing his next book, False Alarm: Why the Greatest Threat to Social Security and Medicare is the Campaign to “Save” Them (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001).

Since joining the CWRU political science department, Professor White has continued to do research on health care policy, the “aging society,” and budgeting; publishing on topics including lobbying the congressional appropriations process, budget process failures during the Bush administration, government capacity to make health policy, the dynamics and consequences of medical care markets in the United States, how private health insurance works in other countries, and especially health care cost control. During the 2009-10 health care reform debate, he published articles either singly or with colleagues in The Annals of Internal Medicine, Health Affairs, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, and New England Journal of Medicine. He also did online analyses or blog posts for Health Affairs, the Health Care Cost Monitor, Roll Call, and the Campaign for America’s Future.

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