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Event Summary
On Thursday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate requiring citizens to obtain health insurance would be upheld as a tax. The court also ruled that the federal government cannot withdraw existing Medicaid funding from states that do not participate in the expansion. At an AEI event following the Supreme Court decision, in-house scholars and legal analysts provided preliminary analysis of the court’s long-awaited decision.

Thomas Christina of Ogletree Deakins questioned the justices’ choice to treat the mandate as a tax, especially given the Obama administration’s insistence that it should not be viewed as such. Thomas Miller of AEI expressed similar doubts regarding the decision but emphasized that there are other channels besides the Supreme Court through which the public can influence health reform.

In the same vein, James Capretta, also of AEI, outlined his proposal for health care reform, which entails changing existing government policy towards employer-sponsored insurance, Medicare and Medicaid by moving from a defined-benefit approach to a defined-contribution model. Unlike the ACA, a defined contribution system — Capretta argued — would create a functioning marketplace that would control costs.
— Catherine Griffin

Event Description
On Thursday morning, June 28, the Supreme Court will issue its ruling on several constitutional law challenges to the Affordable Care Act. At this event, AEI scholars and legal analysts will provide real-time reactions to the decision and offer prescriptions for what should come next in health policy reform. Three of the panelists, Thomas P. Miller, James C. Capretta and Thomas M. Christina, were instrumental in the filing of an amicus brief about severability filed before the Court, which was cited by Justice Samuel Alito during oral arguments.

Coverage of the ruling will be broadcast live at the event.


9:15 AM
Registration and breakfast

9:30 AM
Panel I: Public Opinion and Health Policy, Before the Decision
Karlyn Bowman, AEI
James C. Capretta, AEI and Ethics and Public Policy Center
Tevi Troy, Hudson Institute

Thomas P. Miller, AEI

10:00 AM
Live coverage of Supreme Court announcements

10:30 AM
Panel II: Reaction to the Ruling: Policy and Legal Analysis
James C. Capretta, AEI and Ethics and Public Policy Center
Thomas M. Christina, Ogletree Deakins

Thomas P. Miller, AEI

11:15 AM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Catherine Griffin at [email protected], 202.862.5920.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact Véronique Rodman at [email protected], 202.862.4871.

Speaker Biographies

Karlyn Bowman is a senior fellow at AEI. She compiles and analyzes American public opinion using available polling data on a variety of subjects, including the economy, taxes, the state of workers in America, the environment and global warming, attitudes about homosexuality and gay marriage, the North American Free Trade Agreement and free trade, the war in Iraq and women’s attitudes. In addition, Bowman has studied and spoken about the evolution of American politics resulting from key demographic and geographic changes. She has often lectured on the role of think tanks in the U.S.

James C. Capretta has spent more than two decades studying American health care policy. As an associate director at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget from 2001 to 2004, he was responsible for all health care, Social Security and welfare issues. Earlier, he served as a senior health policy analyst at the U.S. Senate Budget Committee and at the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means. Capretta is also concurrently a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. At AEI, he is researching how to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (best known as Obamacare) with a less expensive reform plan to provide effective and secure health insurance to working-age Americans and their families.

Thomas M. Christina is a shareholder in Ogletree Deakins — a national labor and employment law firm — where he practices employee-benefits law. Since 2010, Christina has counseled employers and industry groups on legislative health care reform efforts and regulatory and compliance issues under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He speaks and writes frequently on specific aspects of agency guidance under the act, such as grandfathered health plan status, implementation of mandated-coverage terms and planning for employer mandates beginning in 2014. Christina has represented clients in appellate matters for more than 25 years, in cases before the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court, spanning a wide range of legal issues. Most recently, he submitted an amicus brief to the Eleventh Circuit on behalf of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce in Florida v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, urging the court to rule that the Affordable Care Act is invalid. In the Supreme Court, Christina contributed to an amicus brief by Thomas P. Miller and nine other health care finance experts supporting the petitioners on severability. He also was of counsel on an amicus brief supporting the states on the Medicaid expansion question in that case. During the Reagan administration, he was a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Policy and later an assistant deputy attorney general.

Thomas P. Miller is a resident fellow at AEI, where he focuses on health policy with a particular emphasis on information transparency, health insurance regulation, and consumer-driven health care. He was a member of the National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality from 2007 to 2009. Before joining AEI, Miller served for three years as a senior health economist for the Joint Economic Committee, where he organized a series of hearings focusing on promising reforms in private health care markets. He has also been director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute and director of economic policy studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Miller’s writing has appeared in publications such as Health Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Reader’s Digest, National Review,, the Journal of Law and Contemporary Problems, Regulation and Cato Journal. Before moving to Washington, D.C., to work on public policy, he was a trial attorney, journalist and radio broadcaster.

Tevi Troy is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a writer and consultant on health care and domestic policy. He was the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2007 to 2009. Troy has also served in multiple high-level positions in the White House over a five-year period, culminating in his service as the deputy assistant and acting assistant to the president for domestic policy. He also served as the special assistant to the president and deputy cabinet secretary. Before coming to the White House, Troy served as the deputy assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Labor, where he was also the lead regulatory strategist. On Capitol Hill, Troy served as the policy director for former Senator John Ashcroft (R-Mo.) from 1998 to 2002 and as the senior domestic policy adviser and later as the domestic policy director for the U.S. House Policy Committee from 1996 to 1998. Troy has also been a researcher at AEI.

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