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Constitutional Consternation: Will the Individual Mandate Survive Constitutional Scrutiny? 

Co-Sponsored by the Public Interest Commitee and the Healthcare Reform Task Force
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Audio Recording

On December 13, 2010, Judge Henry Hudson of the Eastern District of Virginia found that the Accountable Care Act's requirement that every individual purchase health insurance or pay a penalty exceeds Congress' constitutional authority. Earlier that Fall, federal judges in Lynchburg, VA and Detroit, MI disagreed with Judge Hudson, dismissing constitutional challenges to the mandate. A Florida judge will hear oral arguments on cross summary judgment motions by 20 state attorneys general and the Department of Health and Human Services on December 16th, and some expect him to issue his opinion by the end of the year. 

As courts begin to weigh in on the constitutionality of the individual mandate, the expected split in the circuits is becoming a reality. AHLA has invited Peter Urbanowicz and  Professor Andrew Koppelman, both of whom have spent significant time studying the constitutional implications of the individual mandate, to discuss their views on a January 5, 2011 webinar.

This is a memorable discussion of the constitutionality of the individual mandate in the Accountable Care Act. As an activity supported by AHLA's Public Interest initiative, the recording of this webinar has been made available for free.  


  • Peter Urbanowicz is Managing Director of Alvarez & Marsal. He previously served as General Counsel of Tenet and as Deputy General Counsel in the Department of Health and Human Services. Peter co-authored an article entitled “Constitutional Implications of an 'Individual Mandate' in Health Care Reform” for The Federalist Society.
  • Andrew Koppelman is the John Paul Stevens Professor of Law at Northwestern University. Andrew is an expert in Constitutional Law and political philosophy. His current research focuses on paternalism and perfectionism in the law, with special attention to the enforcement of morals.

These two exceptionally well qualified individuals will debate the merits and probe the strengths and weaknesses of the opinions that have been issued thus far. They may also provide their views on how these disparate opinions work their way to the highest court in the land to ultimately decide the individual mandate's fate.

All Public Interest resources and initiatives are available free of charge or at a nominal cost, made possible thanks to the Public Interest Committee and the generosity of our Individual and Industry Public Interest donors. www.healthlawyers.org/PublicInterest

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