Health Reform and Related Controversies

The Affordable Care Act has been mired in controversy since its enactment in 2010. The Supreme Court has on three occasions considered various challenges involving the Act, the House of Representatives has voted innumerable times to repeal it, and "Obamacare" is already shaping up to be a centerpiece of the 2016 presidential election. This seminar will examine the various legal disputes that have erupted around the ACA -- disputes that pertain both to its constitutionality and, more generally, to the legality of the choices that the Obama administration has made in implementing it. Classes will focus on NFIB v. Sebelius, King v. Burwell, and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, as well as the administration's controversial decisions to delay various aspects of the statute, to punt to the states the critical decision of which health benefits count as "essential," and to extend cost-sharing subsidies to low-income Americans.