Hamm issues statement on Supreme Court health care reform ruling
Posted on 6/28/2012
BISMARCK, N.D.-North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm today issued the following statement in regard to the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:
"As most North Dakotans know by now, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled today to uphold the federal health care reform law, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. While I am disappointed with today's Supreme Court ruling, I have a deep respect for the rule of law and as a constitutional officer of the State of North Dakota I am obligated to enforce it."
A five-to-four majority of the Supreme Court held that the provision requiring individual citizens to purchase health insurance coverage is permissible under the taxing authority of the U.S. Constitution.
"Since the law was enacted in March 2010, the State of North Dakota and the North Dakota Insurance Department have been working diligently to attempt to ensure that the law will be implemented in a way that is best for the people of North Dakota. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled definitively, these issues will move back to the political branches of the federal government. As that process unfolds, we will continue to move forward and do what we can to attempt to make this law work for North Dakotans," Hamm said.
In 2010, North Dakota and 13 other states joined in the litigation challenging the federal health care reform law. The multi-state litigation ultimately expanded to include 26 states. In January 2011, the U.S. District Court ruled that the health care reform law was unconstitutional. The court ruled that the provisions requiring Americans over 18 to obtain qualifying insurance coverage or face a penalty exceeded Congress' powers under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the entire law must fall. In August 2011, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the U.S. District Court ruling that the federal health care reform individual mandate is unconstitutional but it found the rest of the law could remain in place. The case was then argued before the Supreme Court of the United States in March 2012.