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Professor Andrew Koppelman Discusses "The Tough Luck Constitution" on C-SPAN

July 07, 2015

Last month, Andrew Koppelman discussed his 2013 book, The Tough Luck Constitution and the Assault on Health Care Reform, on C-SPAN’s Book TV.

The book provides a broad historical context for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and outlines the “tough luck” philosophy adopted by the Supreme Court’s conservatives in recent years. He warns the Court’s interpretation of the commerce clause in the 2012 case challenging the ACA “almost crippled America's ability to reverse rising health-care costs and shrinking access” even while it upheld the law itself.

“They did a lot less damage than they could have,” Koppelman told C-SPAN host Peter Slen. “The most significant thing they did was tell states they could revise and edit the federal Medicaid program and refuse the parts of it that had Obama’s name on it and that’s had really terrible health consequences for a lot of people […] and they did that on the basis of really terrible legal reasoning. If there’s one thing that I’m trying to get across in the book it’s to get clear to ordinary people who aren’t lawyers just how bad the legal reasoning was in this case.”