Today amicus briefs supporting the Affordable Care Act’s minimum coverage provision are due in the Supreme Court. It is likely that as many as thirty briefs will be filed by the time today is over, and the Center for American Progress has released a synopsis of 22 of these briefs.
One thing that is clear from the list is that organizations that actually know something about health care support this law. In the lower courts, real experts in health care — doctors, nurses, patient groups and hospitals — all lined up in support of the law. That pattern has now repeated itself before the Supreme Court. Groups supporting the law include:
- Doctors and Nurses: Six health providers groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Nurses Association, joined a brief authored by an attorney who will be very familiar to the readers of this blog.
- Patient Groups: A long list of patient and disability groups, including the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, the March of Dimes and the American Association of People with Disabilities joined two briefs supporting the ACA.
- Hospitals: The American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, Federation of American Hospitals, National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems and the National Association of Children’s Hospitals submitted another brief.
- Insurers: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts also filed a brief explaining the success of the Massachusetts health plan, which was the model for the Affordable Care Act.
Other amici include the AARP, the attorneys general of eleven states, four Nobel Prize winning economists, small business groups, nearly 500 state lawmakers, groups representing women, young people and numerous advocacy groups and academics.
It, of course, remains to be seen what the law’s opponents will produce when it come their time to file amicus briefs, but their past efforts have not been impressive. In the lower courts, briefs opposing the law were filed mostly by conservative think tanks, GOP elected officials and Republican-aligned lobbying groups. Virtually no health care groups — beyond a right-wing doctors’ advocacy group which likens the Affordable Care Act to “Hitler” — stood against the ACA.