This post is part of an ACSblog symposium marking the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.
One year after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, opponents who question the law's constitutionality are still sounding unwarranted alarm bells that regulatory floodgates will open if this law is upheld in court, much as they have when other landmark laws were passed, former acting Solicitor General Walter Dellinger said during an ACS phone briefing today on legal challenges to the health care law.
"The attacks on [the law] are exactly like the attacks on Social Security and the minimum wage law, where it was said that if the retirement age could be set by congress at 65 it could be set at 25. It was said that if Congress could set the minimum wage at $5 it could set min wage at $5,000," said Dellinger, chair of the appellate practice at O'Melveny & Myers. "The court in upholding the Social Security Act and the minimum wage laws made light of those arguments and so should they here."
Dellinger, echoing comments he made during a recent panel discussion on the Affordable Care Act, said whether the landmark health care law is constitutional "is not a close question."
"I don't think that people are going to be sitting around on the court wringing their hands waiting to see what Justice Kennedy thinks. I believe that Chief Justice Roberts will be in the majority and that he will decide the opinion himself," Dellinger said.
During the 30-minute national call, Dellinger explained how the conversation about the legal challenges has been shaped by "really a few libertarians" and took questions from others on the call.
Listen to the call here.