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Sup Ct to Hear Challenge to Health Care Reform (Read More…)

By Joanne Deschenaux
Nov. 14, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Nov. 14, 2011, to hear a challenge to the constitutionality of the 2010 health care overhaul law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
The high court set aside 5.5 hours, probably in March, for oral argument. A decision will likely be issued in late June. The court will hear arguments on four separate issues:
• The constitutionality of the “individual mandate” – the requirement that almost every American obtain health insurance by 2014 or be subject to a financial penalty.
• Whether the overall law must fail if the individual mandate is struck down.
• Whether the federal Anti-Injunction Act, which bars suits “for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax” prohibits any challenge to the individual mandate until the first penalty is due in April 2015.
• Whether Congress exceeded its constitutional authority by expanding the eligibility and coverage thresholds that states must adopt to remain eligible to participate in Medicaid.

“We know the Affordable Care Act is constitutional and are confident the Supreme Court will agree,” said White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer in a news release issued after the court made its announcement.

“For the small-business community, this comes not a day too soon,” said Dan Danner, the CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business. “The health care law has not lived up to its promises of reducing costs, allowing citizens to keep their coverage or improving a cumbersome system that has long been a burden to small-business owners and employees, alike. The small-business community can now have hope; their voices are going to be heard in the nation’s highest court.”

Three federal appeals courts have found the PPACA to be constitutional, while another has said it is not, calling it “breathtaking in its expansive scope.”

Posted by Admin on 11/14 at 10:10 PM