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Archive for August, 2011

25
Aug

Courts Decide on Health Care

Written by dreilly. Posted in Blog, health care reform

The passage of ObamaCare divided Congress and divided the country.   More recently it’s divided the judiciary.

As expected, dozens of lawsuits have been filed against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act since its final passage in March of 2010.  The most-watched cases challenge the individual mandate, the idea the government can require a citizen to purchase a specific insurance plan or face a tax.

To date five district courts have ruled on the individual mandate.  Three courts have upheld the law, Eastern Michigan, District of Columbia, and Western Virginia.  And two courts have struck it down: Eastern Virginia, and Northern Florida.

Next up are the Courts of Appeal.   There have been two decisions so far with the Sixth Circuit upholding the Eastern Michigan case and the Eleventh Circuit agreeing with the Northern Florida court to strike down the law down.

Still to rule is the Fourth Circuit to settle the split decisions from the two Virginia cases.  And the District of Columbia Circuit will hear its appeal in September.

If you’re scoring, that’s four courts to uphold the mandate, three courts to strike it down, two appeals still pending.   The judiciary is split, some decided, ultimately undecided.   But do any of these lower decisions really matter?   After all, it was concluded with that fateful Christmas Eve vote in 2009 that the U.S. Supreme Court would decide the issue.   So, in the meantime, aren’t we just following process and reading headlines?

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