Supreme Court to take On PPACA Cases

 

As a follow up to last week’s entry about the Supreme Court taking on the PPACA cases, today the Supreme Court determined to hear three separate cases on the constitutionality of PPACA.  The Court also  set aside 5 1/2 hours for oral argument, to be held in March.  However, the Court, did not grant all of the issues raised and it chose issues to review only from three of the five separate appeals before it.

The Court will hold two hours of argument on the constitutionality of the requirement that virtually every American obtain health insurance by 2014, 90 minutes on whether some or all of the overall law must fail if the mandate is struck down, one hour on whether the Anti-Injunction Act bars some or all of the challenges to the insurance mandate, and one hour on the constitutionality of the expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor and disabled.  Rather than hear all issues, the Court chose those issues from appeals by the federal government, by 26 states, and by a business trade group.  It opted not to review the challenges to new health care coverage requirements for public and private employers.

The blog of the US Supreme Court reports that the Court’s order does the following:

  • Determined to hear the issue of “severability” of the insurance mandate from the other provisions of the law, if the mandate is nullified
  • Determined to hear arguments on the constitutionality of the insurance mandate
  • Directed the Parties to brief and argue whether the lawsuit brought by the states to the insurance mandate is barred by the Anti-Injunction Act (
  • Determined to hear the constitutionality of the Medicaid expansion

Supreme Court observers suggest that this may be a modern record for the amount of time set aside for oral arguments.  Due to the complexity of the issues presented, it is not a surprise that the Court has allotted this much time to argument, and it is also suggested that a decision could be rendered as early as June of 2012, which could significantly impact the upcoming presidential election.

by Keith R. McMurdy

 

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