KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Next Chapter In Health Law Legal Challenges Could Be Decided Thursday

Meanwhile, some conservative activists are renewing their calls for Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan to step aside in regard to cases that involve the health law. And, a judge makes a case for delaying a final decision until after 2014 in a dissenting opinion regarding the DC Circuit Court's ruling.

Politico: Supreme Court Health Care Reform Path Could Be Set Thursday
The nine Supreme Court justices could decide as soon as Thursday whether — and how — to wade into the politically charged legal waters of health reform. The Obama administration has asked the court to jump in, so it appears more than likely the justices will agree to decide whether the health law's requirement that nearly all Americans obtain insurance is constitutional (Haberkorn, 11/9).

The Hill: Conservative Group Calls On Kagan To Sit Out Health Care Cases
Conservative legal activists on Wednesday renewed their calls for Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan to abstain from cases involving President Obama's healthcare law. Conservatives say Kagan should recuse herself from suits over the law's individual mandate because the administration began planning its defense while she was solicitor general. Kagan has recused herself from dozens of cases because of her work in the Justice Department, but has shown no signs so far of sitting out healthcare suits (Baker, 11/9).

ABC: Judge Calls Pre-2014 Ruling On Health Care Mandate Premature
Most of the judges reviewing the Obama administration's health care law have ruled on the heart of the case: whether Congress had the authority to require individuals to buy health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax penalty. But a dissent issued in Tuesday's 2-1 D.C. Circuit Court opinion could provide a roadmap for delaying a decision on the individual mandate until after 2014. Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh dissented from the majority opinion that upheld the mandate, writing that he thought it was premature for the courts to step in and decide the issue (DeVogue, 11/9).

California Healthline: Five Key Lines in the Circuit Court Rulings on Reform
Four appeals courts have now rendered decisions -- or dismissals -- on five separate challenges to the ACA. Collectively, the circuit courts' opinions represent more than 630 pages of legal argument; those briefs follow hundreds of additional pages of lower-court rulings. Among the millions of words spent on arguing the ACA's legality, here are five key lines that address what will shape the Supreme Court's own decision -- and help you make sense of the issues in play (Diamond, 11/9). 

Related, from KHN: Scoreboard: Tracking Health Law Court Challenges (Vaida and Eisenhower, 11/8).

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