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An Introduction to Constitutional Law » NFIB v. Sebelius

An introduction to Constitutional Law 100 Supreme Court cases everyone should know

Randy E. Barnett & Josh Blackman

In 2010, Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA, also known as Obamacare, regulated the private health insurance marketplace. Through the so-called individual mandate, the ACA required most Americans to maintain health insurance. Additionally, the law required states to make more low-income people eligible for Medicaid, a state-run insurance pro- gram. States that refused to expand their Medicaid programs would lose all the funding they were receiving for their existing Medicaid program, which was billions of dollars.

The attorneys general of twenty-six states and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) challenged the ACA’s constitutionality. Randy Barnett eventually became a member of NFIB’s legal team.
In 2012, a sharply divided Supreme Court upheld most of the ACA.

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