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For the third time in a decade, the U.S. Supreme Court has heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The case of California v. Texas, heard Nov. 10, is its most recent major legal challenge.

Taking place eight days after Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s first Supreme Court case and seven days after the 2020 election, the hearing focused on the ACA’s individual mandate—the requirement that most people need to have health insurance. After Congress zeroed out the mandate’s penalty in 2017, challengers are arguing that the mandate is no longer constitutional under Congress’ tax-and-spend authority and must be struck down.

In the case, the court considered whether the individual plaintiffs and the challenging states had standing to sue, whether the zeroed-out individual mandate provision was constitutional and whether, if unconstitutional, it was severable from the rest of the law. It will likely be spring, and could be early summer, before we hear of the court’s decision.

A health law professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Zack Buck, thinks it is important to ask, in addition to the legal arguments and tea-leaf reading of California v. Texas, what is next for the law and American health care policy? Read the full article on The Conversation.

UT is a member of The Conversation, an independent source for news articles and informed analysis written by the academic community and edited by journalists for the general public. Through our partnership, we seek to provide a better understanding of the important work of our faculty.


Lindsey Owen (865-974-6375,