Appeal Asks Top Court to Kill Health Care Law

Posted September 28th, 2011 at 2:14 pm (UTC-5)
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Twenty-six U.S. states and a group representing small businesses are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the Obama administration's overhaul of the health care system.

The states, led by Florida, and the National Federation of Independent Business both filed appeals with the nation's top court Wednesday, asking justices to declare the entire law unconstitutional. They are appealing a court decision made last month that upheld most of the law except a provision requiring all Americans to pay for health insurance or face a penalty.

They argue in court papers that the so-called “individual mandate” is central to the health care law, and if it is unconstitutional, the entire law must be invalidated. The states have also argued that a provision expanding Medicaid, a public insurance program for low-income Americans, is unconstitutional.

Both groups say a final decision is needed so entrepreneurs will know if they will have to pay costs related to the new health insurance standards.

With multiple conflicting court rulings and an appeal filed by more than half of the U.S. states, legal experts say it is likely the Supreme Court will choose to rule on the issue during its upcoming session, which runs until June 2012.

The Obama administration is also expected to file its own Supreme Court appeal defending the law. Obama administration officials have defended the need to require all Americans to have health insurance.

In the August decision, a federal appeals panel wrote that the individual mandate goes too far, representing a “potentially unbound assertion of congressional authority.”

Other court rulings have upheld the law, including the individual health care insurance requirement.