This week, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate portion of the healthcare reform law, the ACA (also known as PPACA). In this first decision from a Federal Court of Appeals on the matter, a Republican appointee joined a Democratic appointee Wednesday for a 2 to 1 decision upholding the law. The decision affirms the ruling of a federal circuit judge in Michigan.
We have discussed in prior posts that the 6th Circuit case is one of several similar challenges pending in Federal Courts of Appeal around the country. In mid-June, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in the government’s appeal of Circuit Court Judge Vinson’s earlier ruling that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and that, given the lack of a severability clause, the entire law is therefore unconstitutional. And the 4th Circuit heard arguments in mid-May in cases brought by the Commonwealth of Virginia and Liberty University challenging the individual mandate and PPACA generally. The nation continues to await these additional Circuit rulings, with the expectation that some or all of these cases will be consolidated by the US Supreme Court for expeditious hearing this fall.
Available here are prior posts discussing these PPACA challenges, legislative efforts to repeal portions of the law and the Physician Hospitals of America (PHA) and Texas Spine and Joint Hospital (TSJH) court challenge to Section 6001 regarding limitations on physician-owned hospitals.