The Supreme Court Has Spoken - Now What?

June 29, 2012
What do you think about this decision? Share Comments below.

In June, the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is constitutional. Some limitations have been placed on the federal government's ability to control the expansion of state Medicaid programs and that is likely to have a big impact on children, youth and families. We're gathering "best of the web" analyses and updates as they come in.

If you have resources you'd like us to include, email  Tara James.

Follow us on Twitter (@SparkAction) for up-to-the-minute reports and reactions on a range of issues.

Making Sense of the Impact

Analyses and interpretations with an eye to children and youth

7/9/12    Center for American Progress
Interactive Map: Why the Supreme Court's Ruling on Medicaid Creates Uncertainty for Millions
Each state determines its own eligibility for Medicaid. Here's a look at how their decisions could impact families.

7/6/12    The New York Times
A Gap in Health Coverage
The Supreme Court decision inadvertently opened a hole in health insurance coverage that threatens to swallow parents with incomes below the poverty line but above Medicaid eligibility.


Live Blog

Dispatches from the child & youth field immediately following the decision


9:54 am | State Governors via Stateline:
Quotes from 24+ state governors on the ruling.


5:10 pm | Georgetown University Center for Children and Families Co-Executive Directors Jocelyn Guyer & Joan Alker:
"While today's decision is great news for most American children and families, the Court left open the possibility that the lowest income parents and other adults could be left behind. Now the responsibility for ensuring that this is indeed a victory for all rests squarely on the shoulders of the states." more

4:47 pm | Children's Health Fund President Dr. Irwin Redlener:
"The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the essence of the Affordable Care Act is good news for America’s children. With nearly 10 million children lacking health insurance and at least 15 million with insurance who experience other barriers to getting care, the ACA represents extraordinary progress toward the goal of making sure that no child is denied timely access to quality medical care." more

4:28 pm | First Focus President Bruce Lesley:
"Today’s ruling is a significant win for kids. State and federal officials can now get on with the urgent business of effectively and assertively implementing the Affordable Care Act so that more kids can have access to the health care they need.” more

3:43 pm | Every Child Matters President Michael Petit:
"With the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the new law, it is now up to the Administration, the states, insurance companies, an medical providers to act with speed and due deliberation to extend the law’s many benefits to the American people."

3:35 pm | ZERO TO THREE:
Health care is a basic need for young children and all of us. For babies, regular visits to the pediatrician can start them on the road to positive development in all domains—physical, cognitive, social, and emotional. One in every 12 children and one in 5 parents have no health insurance. ACA gives a path to remedy that condition and improve the quality of the care to which they have access." more

2:50 pm | Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families Executive Director Rich Huddleston & Health Policy Director Anna Strong:
"Because of the ACA, children with asthma, diabetes, or other pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage or have lifetime limits on care.  Women can't be charged higher premiums because of their gender." more

2:12 pm | Generations United Policy and Program Coordinator Eric Masten:
"While some important provisions have already come into effect, more remains to be done to meet the goal of affordable health insurance for all Americans, especially our most vulnerable populations, by 2014." more

1:43 pm | Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) Chief Executive Officer Michael Fraser, PhD:
"The Supreme Court ruling removes much of the uncertainty that many maternal and child health leaders have experienced in implementing certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including protections for children and youth with special health care needs, the promotion of essential health benefits, access to medical homes, expanded evidence-based home visiting programs and teen pregnancy prevention programs.” more

1:25 pm | Millennial experts Michael Hais & Morley Winograd:
"... the Court's decision is likely to have far-reaching effects on the future relationship between government and its citizens. Millennials believe that social rules are important but that everyone should have the freedom to choose how to abide by them." more

12:50 pm | Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden:
"The Court’s ruling is a victory for millions of Americans who are already benefiting from the health reform law, whether it’s the sick child who can no longer be denied insurance or the senior who can afford her prescription drugs." more

12:32 pm | Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack:
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a clear, unambiguous, and complete victory for long-overdue health care reform ...Implementing health reform will provide peace of mind for our families, the peace of mind that comes only when our loved ones are sure to receive the health care they need when they need it." more

12:05 pm | Young Invincibles Co-Founder and Executive Director Aaron Smith:
“The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the health care law is historic and literally a lifesaver for many young Americans, who remain the nation's most uninsured population.  Through the extension of dependent coverage to age 26, Medicaid expansion, and new health insurance exchanges, young adults across the country will have the opportunity to purchase quality, affordable coverage for the first time.” more

12:01 pm | Executive Director of CLASP Alan W. Houseman:
"Today's decision ensures that we will have a fairer health care system that better meets our workforce and population's needs. While there are still questions on how states will respond to the Medicaid expansion provision, the ruling is a real victory for all Americans." more

11:55 am | President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America James M. Hmurovich:
"Today, Prevent Child Abuse America thanks the Supreme Court for their decision to uphold ACA, and the protections it provides to children, youth and families, particularly those most vulnerable. This kind of decision reflects that we, as a country, can take steps to positively impact the healthy development of children and their families; and do more than pay lip service to the idea that children, all children, are our priority.”

11:25 am | Families USA Statement and Action Alert:
"Implementing health reform will provide peace of mind for our families – the peace of mind that only comes when our loved ones are sure to receive the health care they need when they need it." more   

Join Families USA in sending President Obama an e-card thanking him for standing up for our health care rights and protections.

11:18 am | Child Welfare League of America:
Good News for Kids: SCOTUS Upholds ACA -- see summary in the Children's Monitor

10:38 am | SCOTUS blog author Kali:
Here is the opinion in the health care cases.

10:32 am | SCOTUS blog author Amy Howe:
"In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. ...five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding."

10:13 am | SCOTUS blog author Tom Goldstein: 
“The bottom line: the entire ACA is upheld, with the exception that the federal government’s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds is narrowly read."

Tara T James


I&;m frankly stunned - and thrilled! I really thought the mandate would be struck down, because the Court is controlled by Republican appointees. This is really good news for the millions of young people who now have health insurance because of this law. Yay!

Now the talk is about how much this will cost. If it will SAVE money (and people&;s lives) in the long run, advocates need to reassert that.

Almost 50 million are unsieurnd. The exact thing predicted by insurance people on this format and elsewhere, a couple of years ago, is happening: The Health Reform Act as written by our congress and senate, is making MORE people unsieurnd. It will continue to drive the cost of insurance up, and encourage employers to discontinue health insurance coverage for their employers (by making it cheaper to pay the fine, than buy the required coverage). Source: CNN, quoting the CDC.


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Almost 50 million are unsieurnd. The exact thing predicted by insurance people on this format and elsewhere, a couple of years ago, is happening: The Health Reform Act as written by our congress and senate, is making MORE people unsieurnd. It will continue to drive the cost of insurance up, and encourage employers to discontinue health insurance

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