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Joining five other national organizations that represent the interests of elderly and disabled people, the Center for Medicare Advocacy filed an amicus brief on January 30 in the United States Supreme Court supporting a position of the federal government in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) litigation.[1]  The brief does not address the constitutionality of the minimum coverage provision[2] (which is also known as the individual mandate), but argues that other provisions of ACA are severable from the minimum coverage provision if the Court strikes it down.

The specific focus of the amicus brief is the effect of a holding of unconstitutionality on ACA's changes to the Medicare and Medicaid programs for people over 65.  The brief thoroughly explains how, since ACA's many improvements to Medicare and Medicaid can stand alone and will not be affected if the minimum coverage provision is struck down, those provisions are severable.  The goal, of course, is to insulate the Medicare and Medicaid improvements and ensure that they are not eliminated in the event that the minimum coverage provision is invalidated.

The amicus brief was drafted by attorneys from the National Senior Citizens Law Center and AARP.  The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments on the several issues involving ACA over three days, March 26-28, 2012.

Read the entire brief in .pdf form at

[1]  The appeals at issue are National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, No. 11-393 and State of Florida v. Dep’t of Health and Human Services, No. 11-400.
[2]See 26 U.S.C. § 5000A.

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