KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Justice Dept. Seeks Expedited Treatment For Legal Challenges To The Health Law

The Obama administration has filed papers with the court to gain expedited treatment regarding challenges to the constitutionality of the health law.   

Where Do The Health Reform Lawsuits Stand?

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Justice Department Seeks Fast Ruling For Health Care Law
The Obama administration is asking a federal appeals court in Atlanta to act swiftly on a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the government's health care overhaul (3/9).

The Palm Beach Post On Call Blog: Obama Administration Hits Speed Dial On Florida Health Reform Appeal
A federal appeals court could hear Florida's challenge to the Affordable Care Act as soon as mid-summer, after the Obama Administration said today it intends to appeal U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson's "unconstitutional" ruling, and asked for an expedited hearing schedule. The Obama Administration asked the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to agree that the opening brief be due April 18. The 26 states' response would be due May 18, and the Obama administration's reply would be due on June 1 (Singer, 3/9).

Earlier news coverage tracked the administration's appeal:

Politico: White House Appeals Florida Lawsuit
The Obama administration Tuesday appealed Judge Roger Vinson's ruling that the entire health reform law is unconstitutional. The quick action of the government prevents the judge's order from taking effect and shutting down implementation of the law for now (Haberkorn, 3/8).

Reuters: Obama Administration Appeals Health Care Ruling
The Obama administration on Tuesday appealed a judge's ruling in Florida that struck down its landmark health care overhaul law as unconstitutional because it required Americans to buy health care insurance or face a penalty. President Barack Obama's Justice Department filed its notice of appeal and the case will go to the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta. The fight over the law is expected to reach the Supreme Court. Health care reform is the signature of Obama's domestic policy and the administration has said it would continue to implement the law because halting it would cause irreparable harm (Pelofsky, 3/9).

Bloomberg: Obama Administration Appeals Judge's Ruling Striking Down Health Care Law
In January, [U.S. District Judge C. Roger] Vinson became the second federal judge to find unconstitutional a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requiring almost every person in the U.S. to obtain insurance coverage starting in 2014. "The sooner this issue is finally decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, the better off our entire nation will be," Vinson said in a March 3 ruling responding to a U.S. request he clarify the scope of his earlier decision (Harris, 3/9).

The New York Times: U.S. Appeals Florida Health Care Ruling
The Justice Department filed notice on Tuesday that it was appealing a decision by a federal judge in Florida who struck down the new health care law, saying it was unconstitutional for the federal government to require Americans to obtain health insurance (Pear, 3/9).

Meanwhile -

The Boston Globe: Coakley Springs Into Health Fray
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has jumped into the legal battle over the national health care law, arguing in a federal court brief that the state's experience after passage of a similar measure in 2006 supports the federal government's authority for adopting the legislation. She filed the brief Monday in the Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the Obama administration's appeal of a Virginia federal judge's ruling that struck down a central provision of the national overhaul, known as the individual mandate (Lazar, 3/9).

Modern Healthcare: Hospital Associations Back Health Care Law
Six major hospital associations have filed an amicus brief in support of the federal government in the case brought by the state of Virginia to repeal the health care reform law. The reform law's mandate that all Americans carry health insurance is lawful because, whether they purchase health insurance or not, everyone participates in the health care system, argue the American Hospital Association, National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association, Federation of American Hospitals and National Association of Children's Hospitals (Vesely, 3/8). 

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