KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama Administration Won’t Block Religious Challenge To Health Law

In court papers, the administration said it has no objection to revisiting Liberty University's challenge to the health overhaul.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama Administration Says It Won't Oppose Reopening Religious Challenge To Health Care
The Obama administration told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it does not object to reopening a Christian college's challenge to President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul. In court papers, the Justice Department said it does not oppose allowing a federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., to consider the claim by Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., that Obama's health care law violates the school's religious freedoms (10/31).

Politico Pro: DOJ Won't Try To Block A Challenge To Health Law
The Obama administration told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it won't try to stop a request to reopen a lawsuit against the health care reform law. That could potentially set up a pathway for President Barack Obama's signature law to go back before the high court late next year. Liberty University sued in 2010 over the individual mandate and other aspects of the law, but its case was put aside as the 26 states' case went before the Supreme Court. Once the court upheld the individual mandate in June, it essentially tossed out all of Liberty's lawsuit. Now, the school says it wants the Supreme Court to order the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to look at its challenges to those other parts of the law (Haberkorn, 10/31).

Reuters: White House Won't Oppose New Challenge To 2010 Healthcare Law
The Obama administration on Wednesday cleared the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to revive a lawsuit that challenges the 2010 healthcare overhaul on religious grounds, including a claim that it helps fund abortions. Liberty University, a Christian college in Lynchburg, Virginia, had challenged the individual mandate, which required Americans to obtain insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty, and a mandate requiring big employers to provide coverage for workers (Stempel, 10/31).

In other news related to implementation of the health law -

The Wall Street Journal: Medical Start-Ups Challenged By Health-Care Reform
Investment in medical start-ups has dwindled of late as companies have struggled to go public and deliver returns to venture capitalists. The Affordable Care Act, the health-care reform bill signed into law in 2010, would seem to be the salve these companies need. Starting in 2014, most Americans will have to carry health insurance or pay a penalty. This promises to create millions of new, paying customers for medical companies (Gormley and Maltby, 10/31).

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