Judges receptive to hearing new healthcare law challenges « Health Insurance Advisory

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new healthcare reform lawThe new healthcare law, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), represents comprehensive healthcare reform legislation signed into law on March 23, 2010. It contains numerous provisions designed to protect consumers and promote low cost medical insurance, including many new taxes to pay for the cost.

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Judges receptive to hearing new healthcare law challenges

Author: Administrator | Jun 13 2011 | General Provisions - New Healthcare Law

Judges on a federal appeals court panel on Wednesday repeatedly raised questions about President Barack Obama’s new healthcare law, expressing unease with the requirement that virtually all Americans have a medical insurance plan or face penalties.

Greg Bluestein of the Associated Press reports that all three judges on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel questioned whether upholding the landmark healthcare law could open the door to Congress adopting other sweeping economic mandates.  The Atlanta panel did not immediately rule on the lawsuit brought by 26 states, a coalition of small businesses and private individuals who urged the three to side with a federal judge in Florida who struck down the law. But the pointed questions about the so-called individual medical insurance mandate during almost three hours of oral arguments suggests the appeals court panel is considering whether to rule against at least part of the federal law to expand medical insurance and healthcare coverage to tens of millions of Americans.

Federal appeals courts in Cincinnati and Richmond have both heard similar legal constitutional challenges to the law within the last month, and lawyers on both sides agree the case is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.

At issue Wednesday was a ruling by U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of Florida to invalidate the entire healthcare law, from the Medicare expansion to a change that allows adult children up to age 26 to remain on their parents’ insurance. The government contends the healthcare law falls within its powers to regulate interstate commerce.  The judges seemed skeptical about the federal government’s claim that the mandate was crucial to covering most of the 50 million or so uninsured Americans. The rolls of the uninsured could be pared significantly through other parts of the package, including expanded Medicare discounts for some seniors and a change that makes it easier for those with pre existing medical conditions to get medical insurance coverage.

So far, three Democratic-appointed federal judges have upheld the new health care law and two Republican-appointed judges, including Vinson, have ruled against it. Wednesday’s arguments unfolded in what’s considered one of the nation’s most conservative appeals courts. But the randomly selected panel represents different judicial perspectives. None of the three are considered either stalwart conservatives or unfailing liberals.

For more news and information regarding the new healthcare law, visit healthinsuranceadvisory.org.

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