Disability, Health Groups Support Individual Mandate in Supreme Court Amicus Brief

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a Supreme Court amicus brief submitted Wednesday, 14 of the nation's leading national disability and health organizations say that the Affordable Care Act's minimum coverage provision or individual mandate "falls squarely within Congress' authority to regulate interstate commerce" and therefore is Constitutional.

The arguments in support of the minimum coverage provision set forth in the brief have been frequently cited by federal Judges and most recently by the Department of Justice as proving the Constitutionality of the health reform law.

In the brief, National Senior Citizens Law Center's Rochelle Bobroff, acting as Counsel of Record, writes that wherever states enacted insurance reforms requiring insurers to cover individuals with pre-existing conditions and related reforms without also enacting a minimum coverage provision, there were "disastrous results."  Those states experienced steep, often unaffordable premium spikes and insurers exiting the market for individual insurance coverage altogether.

By contrast, Massachusetts, "the one state which enacted such reforms in conjunction with minimum coverage provision, successfully achieved near-universal health insurance coverage while lowering health insurance premiums."

Based on evidence from state experiences with health reform and other health care market analyses, the brief concludes that there is "overwhelming evidence" that the minimum coverage provision is essential to ensuring that the "ACA ameliorates significant negative effects on the national economy."

NSCLC was joined by the following organizations on the brief:  American Association of People with Disabilities, The Arc of The United States, Breast Cancer Action, Families USA, Friends of Cancer Research, March of Dimes Foundation, National Breast Cancer Coalition, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, National Health Law Program, National Organization for Rare Diseases, National Women's Health Network, The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, and Voices for America's Children.

To read the complete amicus brief, click here.

The National Senior Citizens Law Center is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to protect the rights of low-income older adults. Through advocacy, litigation, and the education and counseling of local advocates, we seek to ensure the health and economic security of those with limited income and resources, and access to the courts for all. For more information, visit our Web site at www.NSCLC.org.

SOURCE National Senior Citizens Law Center