Supreme Court Will Hear PPACA Challenges
November 15, 2011
Fourth Appellate Court Decides Individual Mandate Constitutional
In other recent news, in a 2-1 decision, on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, the federal D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held that the “individual mandate” provision of the PPACA is constitutional. The decision is viewed as significant not only because it is the third of four federal courts of appeal to have upheld the individual mandate, but, as well, because a highly regarded conservative judge wrote the opinion.
As expected, on November 14, 2011, the United States Supreme Court announced that it will hear arguments relating to various constitutional challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). A decision will be issued before its term ends in June 2012, in the middle of a Presidential election year.
The Court has agreed to review four questions that were raised in various lower court challenges to the PPACA:
1. Individual Mandate: Did Congress exceed its authority under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution in requiring that individuals maintain “minimum essential coverage” beginning in 2014, or pay a tax assessment?
2. Severability: If the individual mandate provision is nullified as unconstitutional, is it “severable” from the rest of the legislation, or will some or all or the other PPACA provisions also be nullified?
3. Anti-injunction Act: Are private individuals and states procedurally barred from challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate by the Anti-Injunction Act, which prohibits legal challenges to taxes until after the tax is collected?
4. Medicaid: Did Congress exceed its constitutional authority in expanding the Medicaid program?
The justices will hear these cases, which encompass the questions above:
- National Federation of Independent Business, et al., v. Sebelius
- U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, et al., v. Florida, et al.
- Florida, et al., v. HHS
They will not hear:
- Thomas More Law Center v. Obama
- Liberty University, et al., v. Geithner, et al.
The sixth petition, Commonwealth of Virginia, et al., v. Sebelius, was not before the Justices.
Visit InformedOnReform.com for continued updates on annual limits waivers and other health care reform news.
This document is for general informational purposes only. While we have attempted to provide current, accurate and clearly expressed information, this information is provided "as is" and Cigna makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness. The information provided should not be construed as legal or tax advice or as a recommendation of any kind. External users should seek professional advice from their own attorneys and tax and benefit plan advisers with respect to their individual circumstances and needs.This message has been sent to you to provide information that may be helpful to your business, and to provide an opportunity to give us your requests and general feedback. This alert is not intended for distribution to potential or active customers or enrollees. “Cigna” and the “Tree of Life” logo are registered service marks of Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc., licensed for use by Cigna Corporation and its operating subsidiaries. All products and services are provided exclusively by such operating subsidiaries and not by Cigna Corporation. Such operating subsidiaries include Connecticut General Life insurance Company (CGLIC), Tel-Drug, Inc. and its affiliates, Cigna Behavioral Health, Inc., Intracorp, and HMO or service company subsidiaries of Cigna Health Corporation and Cigna Dental Health, Inc. In California, HMO plans are offered by Cigna HealthCare of California, Inc. and Great-West Healthcare of California, Inc.All other medical plans in California are insured or administered by CGLIC. CGLIC has acquired the business of Great-West Healthcare. 06/11 © 2011 Cigna