Health Reform Continues to be Challenged in the Courts
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta granted the Obama administration's motion for an expedited hearing regarding the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The administration is appealing a January decision made by U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson who ruled the law's requirement to buy health insurance or pay a penalty unconstitutional.
The court will randomly select a three judge panel to hear the appeal on June 8, 2011 and each side will get one hour to present oral arguments. Ordinarily, consideration of such a complex case would take longer for a ruling to be issued, but opponents of the law say it is necessary for courts to act quickly because parts of the law are already being implemented. A June hearing could enable the Supreme Court to get the case as soon as late this year or early in 2012.
Thus far, three federal judges have upheld PPACA’s constitutionality and two have ruled it unconstitutional. Oral arguments have also been scheduled by an appeals court in Richmond, VA in May to hear two additional challenges to the law, one filed by the commonwealth of Virginia and the other by Liberty University.