D.C. Week: It's All ACA, All the Time
In a 193-page document, the court ruled that the law's controversial individual mandate -- which requires nearly everyone to have health insurance -- does not violate the U.S.
The court's stance is notably different from lower court decisions on the matter: it ruled that the law's requirement that everyone have insurance or pay a penalty constitutes a tax.
Both the Obama administration and the 26 states suing the federal government had argued that the fine imposed by the mandate is a penalty, not a tax.
The court also upheld the ACA's expansion of Medicaid to cover nearly all people under age 65 with household incomes at or below 133% of the federal poverty level.
However, the court struck down a provision that gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) the authority to withhold funds from states that do not comply with the Medicaid expansion, something that many states considered too onerous.
Senate Passes FDA User Fee Bill The Senate on Tuesday voted 92-4 to to reauthorize FDA user-fee programs, sending the measure to President Obama's desk for his signature.
Both the Senate and the House passed versions of the FDA user-fee legislation in May, but certain differences needed to be hammered out.
The House-Senate agreement would reauthorize the FDA to collect user fees under its prescription drug and medical device approval processes for 5 years.
The current user-fee agreements with the drug and device industries are set to expire at the end of September.
In addition, the bill also creates new user-fee programs for two industries that don't currently have such agreements: the generic drug industry and the generic biologics industry.
HHS Announces New Funding for States A day after the Supreme Court ruling, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced new funding for states to set up their health insurance exchanges.