National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (11-393) and Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services (11-400)
Oral argument: Wed., Mar. 28, 2012
Appealed from: United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (Aug. 12, 2011)
SEVERABILITY, HEALTH CARE, PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, STANDING, CONGRESSIONAL INTENT
In 2010, Congress enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Health Care Act”) and restructured the health insurance market. The Health Care Act contains a provision requiring individuals to carry a minimum amount of health insurance (“minimum coverage provision”). The Supreme Court must decide whether the minimum coverage provision is constitutional. If the Court finds the minimum coverage provision unconstitutional, it must then determine whether it can be severed from the Health Care Act or whether the entire Health Care Act must be struck down. Petitioners, Florida, the National Federation of Independent Business, and various individuals contend that the minimum coverage cannot be severed from the Health Care Act because the intended outcome of the entire Health Care Act hinges on the economic effect of the minimum coverage provision. Respondents, the Department of Health and Human Services and Kathleen Sebelius, argue that the minimum coverage provision is severable, and the Health Care Act can function without it. A holding for the Petitioners would strike down the entire Health Care Act, whereas a holding for the Respondents would preserve the constitutional and functional sections.