Intended for healthcare professionals


US Supreme Court to decide whether health reform law is constitutional

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 16 November 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7415
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

The US Supreme Court agreed this week to decide whether President Barack Obama’s health reform act, passed in March 2010 (BMJ 2010;340:c1635, doi:10.1136/bmj.c1635), is constitutional.

Members of the Democratic Party support the law; Republicans strongly oppose it. The White House expressed confidence in its constitutionality. However, the recent rulings of the Supreme Court have tended to be strictly conservative.

The court will hear unusually long oral arguments, probably next March, and is likely to issue its decision by late June 2012, in the heat of the presidential campaign.

The court said that it would rule on a challenge to the law brought by 26 Republican state governors and attorneys general who …

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