Appeals Court To Hear ACA Challenge in Early December
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Dec. 2 will hear arguments in a lawsuit that alleges the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional on technical grounds, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The lawsuit argues that the bill that became the ACA was first passed in the Senate -- instead of in the House -- in violation of the Constitution's origination clause. Under the clause, tax-related bills must originate and first pass in the House. An appeals court in Washington, D.C., already rejected the same argument in another case. If the 5th Circuit Court comes to a different conclusion, it would keep the issue alive and make it more likely to be considered by the Supreme Court, according to the AP/Chronicle.
States, Officials Back New Challenge
The new challenge was filed by Steven Hotze, founder of a Texas health services corporation. U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas rejected the lawsuit in January, saying the bill's overarching purpose was not to raise revenue. She also noted that what became the ACA did originate in the House, though the bill was stripped of its original language and changed by the Senate to include health policies.
Republican lawmakers from both chambers, as well as 20 states in which officials oppose the ACA, have joined in support of the lawsuit (McGill, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 10/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.