On October 7, 2010, the Federal Court for the Eastern District of Michigan rejected a request to issue an injunction against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The injunction would have blocked the individual mandate to purchase health insurance. The plaintiffs argued that the mandate exceeds congressional authority and is a constitutionally defective tax.

The court ruled that the plaintiffs’ challenge against the minimum coverage provisions, which take effect in 2014, “failed on the merits,” stating that the government has “also succeeded in overcoming the plaintiffs’ challenge to the penalty provision of the Individual Mandate.”

The court held that “there is a rational basis to conclude that, in the aggregate, decisions to forgo insurance coverage in preference to attempting to pay for healthcare out of pocket drive up the cost of insurance.” Further, the “costs of caring for the uninsured who prove unable to pay are shifted to healthcare providers, to the insured population in the form of higher premiums, to governments, and to taxpayers.”

The plaintiffs have indicated that they intend to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. At the same time, parallel lawsuits continue to unfold in Virginia and Florida.

To read the case: http://op.bna.com/hl.nsf/id/psts-89ztfx/$File/more.pdf