Home > Employee Benefits > Active month on the legal front for PPACA

Active month on the legal front for PPACA

Beginning this week and over the next month, round two of the legal challenges and defense of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) hit the appellate courts. In summary:

  • Tuesday, May 10: The Fourth Circuit court will judge two different rulings in Virginia about the law. One ruling in Richmond federal court found the individual mandate unconstitutional while the opposing ruling in Lynchburg upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate.
  • Wednesday, June 1: The Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati will hear an appeal against a lower court ruling that upheld the law. This multi-state lawsuit will try to overturn that ruling.
  • Wednesday, June 8: The Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta will review the broadest decision to date, a Florida judge’s striking down the entire law as unconstitutional based on his ruling that the individual mandate violated the commerce clause.

It’s felt that a quick decision by any of the Appellate courts could lead the Supreme Court to review the law in the next session, beginning in October. So, it’s an interesting time to watch the legal aspects of health care reform. It’s been reported that hundreds of special interest groups and many politicians and advocates have filed Friend-of-the-Court briefs on both sides of the debate, making these appeals some of the most closely watched in many years.

The WGA Health Reform Advisory Team will be closely watching the proceedings, but we think it is important to remember that the rulings by these courts will probably be just the next step in the ultimate, expected hearing in the Supreme Court. To date, rulings have been split based on who appointed the judge, with Republican appointees ruling against the law and Democratic appointees ruling in favor.

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William Gallagher Associates is a leading provider of insurance brokerage, risk management and employee benefits services to firms with complex risks and dynamic needs, within industries that include technology, life sciences, financial risks, health care, renewable energy & clean technology, and environmental services. WGA has offices in Boston, MA; New York, NY; Hartford, CT; Princeton, NJ; Columbia, MD; and Atlanta, GA.

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