US Supreme Court Likely To Vote on Federal Health Law Reform

An unprecedented move by the U.S. Government has seen it express its unwillingness to petition a ruling by the federal court on the way forward for the federal health reform law. This has created a platform for the U.S. Supreme court to be set up much earlier than anticipated. This could be as soon as next summer, at the peak of the political campaigns.  White House Justice Department decided against challenging the ruling by the 11th Circuit of Appeals but would seek guidance from the high court regarding the constitutional interpretation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The law is premised on effecting several changes in both private and public health insurance programs. Some of these changes include an increase in insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions, ensuring over 30 million Americans are elaborately covered and authorizing an increment for the total national medical expenditure.

A huge portion of the over 20 federal court appeals currently in court seek to challenge the individual mandate contained in the statute. The law seeks to compel Americans to purchase health insurance starting January 2014. Those who fail to comply would be forced fined.  Law critics posit that the both President Obama and the Congress are not acting in accordance with the authority bestowed upon them by the Commerce Clause in the US Constitution. Advocates have on the other expressed their concerns over the detrimental effects of the national healthcare crisis and have requested immediate intervention by the federal government. According to the Act, the major source of funding will be the expanded Medicare tax on incomes in the excess of $200,000 and $250,000 for individuals and joint entities respectively. Other sources of revenues will include federal taxes on indoor tanning services, high-end diagnostic equipment and pharmaceuticals. 

The suit has its roots in Florida and was filed by 26 states among other stakeholders who are likely to bear the brunt of the passage of the law, who  include the National Federation of Independent Business and several other individuals. The law was passed in March 2010 and has seen a major rift arise among federal judges on whether it is constitutional or not. Another ground on which the law is facing stiff opposition is that it is weak on jurisdiction and lacks standing for plaintiffs. 

– Mike

Michael E. Dortch
President &  Managing Agent
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania  19446
(800) 807-0762  ext. 602