Stuart Gerson Quoted in Article, “Split Supreme Court Upholds Health Law Based on Congressional Power to Tax”

Bloomberg's BNA Daily Labor Tax

Stuart Gerson, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences and Litigation practices, in the Washington, DC, office, was quoted in an article titled "Split Supreme Court Upholds Health Law Based on Congressional Power to Tax," written by Mary Anne Pazanowski

Following is an excerpt:

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declared constitutional June 28 a key provision of the federal health reform law, known as the individual mandate or minimum coverage provision, which requires virtually all U.S. citizens to obtain health care insurance or pay a penalty (NFIB v. Sebelius, U.S., No. 11-393, 6/28/12).

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. cast the deciding vote to uphold the validity of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's controversial provision, set to go into effect in 2014. The ruling, though, rested on somewhat unexpected grounds: Congress's power under the U.S. Constitution's Taxing and Spending Clause.

While the "most straightforward reading" of the mandate is that it commands individuals to buy insurance, it also can be read merely as establishing a condition—lack of health insurance—that triggers a tax, Roberts said. ?...

But Stuart Gerson, a former acting U.S. attorney general now with Epstein Becker Green in Washington, told BNA he was not overly surprised.

"Congress has always had broad power under the tax clause," Gerson said. Attorneys familiar with the case had said all along that the tax argument could lead to the court's upholding the statute, he said.

Gerson also said the opinion shows that the justices "don't go for politics."