Posts Tagged - ‘health insurance lawsuit’

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Another State to Join Healthcare Reform Lawsuit?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Image: davis.jaque under CC 3.0

Although the very first challenge to the Obama adminstration’s affordable health insurance reform law was rejected by the Supreme Court, that isn’t stopping states from continuing to oppose it. Over 20 attorney generals launched a lawsuit over the individual mandate provision earlier this year; it is predicted that arguments will be heard sometime in 2011.

Now, Kansas is mulling over the possibility of becoming yet another plaintiff in the large Florida-led case. The Republicans recently elected to state office, Governor-elect Sam Brownback and Attorney General-elect Derek Schmidt, have vowed to mount legal challenges. However, it will most likely take awhile for them to gear up for it.

Ironically, former Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who retired in order to become the Secretary of Health and Human Services, is in charge of promoting and implementing the healthcare reform legislation.

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Virginia Judge To Rule on Health Insurance Mandate on New Year’s Day

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Image: USA Today

Those hoping for a quick resolution to the lawsuits seeking to overturn a portion of the Obama administration’s healthcare reform law are out of luck. At least one of the suits–the one filed by Virginia–will take longer to resolve. According to U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson, he will rule on whether the affordable health insurance mandate provision is constitutional on January 1st.

If Hudson determines that the state’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II has a case for the federal government overstepping its boundaries, the challenge will be one step closer to the Supreme Court. Since Virginia has its own specific law forbidding anyone from mandating that its residents purchase health insurance, it filed a lawsuit separate from the class action joined by over 20 states.

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Michigan Judge Says Health Insurance Reform is Constitutional

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Image: Seattle Municipal Archive under CC 3.0

Opponents of healthcare reform are pinning their hopes of overturning the law on the legal system. Specifically, they contend that the individual mandate provision that requires people to purchase a health insurance plan violates states’ rights.

That argument was recently rejected by one federal judge. In Michigan, U.S. District Judge George Sheeh accepted the Obama administration’s contention that the refusal to buy health coverage materially affects interstate commerce; therefore, Congress has the right to create the mandate.

Of course, the plaintiffs will appeal. Also, two other similar lawsuits are pending in Florida and Virginia–which may be in more conservative districts.

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Health Insurance Plan Reform Lawsuit Will Probably Continue

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Image: Robotclaw666

The healthcare reform lawsuit launched by 20 states is currently being argued in a federal district court. According to the judge presiding over it, Roger Vinson, he will probably rule that the states have general jurisdiction to sue the federal government.

Vinson does not appear to be much of a sympathetic ear for the Obama administration’s lawyers, who claim that the health insurance plan mandate inherent in the bill should be considered as a tax–which they are allowed to impose.

When he decides on the lawsuit’s fate on October 14, Vinson predicts that the bulk of the lawsuit will be allowed to proceed to further arguments on December 16. However, some of it will probably be dismissed; a bittersweet fate for health insurance reform opponents.

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Missouri Launches Its Own Health Insurance Reform Lawsuit

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Image: Allen Gathman under CC 3.0

It started with Virginia. Then, Florida and 20 other states banded together. Now, another state has joined the ranks of those suing over the Obama administration’s health insurance reform law.

Republican Lieutenant Governor recently filed another similar lawsuit, which contends that requiring almost all residents to purchase Missouri health insurance (as one of the primary statutes does) is unconstitutional.

Why didn’t Missouri join the class-action suit? It is unclear; unlike Virginia, it doesn’t have its own separate law against the compelled purchase of health care that gives it separate standing–however, a measure to pass one is currently pending on their August primary ballot.

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Florida Individual Health Insurance Controversy Rages On

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

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Months after national healthcare reform passed, it is still a hot topic during state election primaries. Florida is a case in point. As expected, Democratic candidate Alex Sink supports it. Lawton “Bud” Chiles, an independent, is ambivalent; he thinks the law should stand with some modifications.

One of the Republican contenders for governor, Bill McCollum, is best known as the attorney general behind the class-action lawsuit against the law, which over 20 states have joined. He contends that the provision that serves as a Florida individual health insurance mandate is unconstitutional, because it forces residents to purchase the product. Obviously, he is highlighting his opposition as a campaign talking point.

The other man in the race, Rick Scott, is also against the law. In the 1990s, he ran a hospital chain that was accused of Medicare fraud. More recently, he spent $5 million of his own money to defeat the legislation. Scott also wants “Obamacare” repealed. We will see what happens during the 2010 election primaries next month.

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Democratic Governors Fight Back Against Healthcare Reform Lawsuit

Monday, June 28th, 2010

While several lawsuits contending that healthcare reform is unconstitutional are currently pending, supporters of the legislation are stating their arguments in favor of it.

A small group of Democratic governors are now defying their Republican attorney generals, by filing a friend of the court brief defending the federal government.

The states involved:

  • Washington
  • Colorado
  • Pennsylvania
  • Michigan

Their filings will explain what benefits they believe affordable health insurance reform will have for their states, bolstering the defendants’ case for any future Supreme Court hearings on the topic.

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Mary Brown: Individual Suing Against Health Insurance Mandate

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Jami Dwyer under CC 3.0

The identity of one of the individuals who recently joined over 20 states, as well as the National Federation of Independent Businesses, in their lawsuit contending against a major provision of healthcare reform has been released. Her name is Mary Brown, and she owns an auto repair shop (Brown & Dockery, Inc.) in Panama City, Florida.

According to Brown, she is suing because she believes that the enactment of a federal insurance mandate (which will require people to either buy a health insurance plan or pay a fine) is unconstitutional. She is self-employed and uninsured by choice; preferring to invest in her business and employees instead.

She says that she will not be eligible for Medicaid or Medicare before the individual mandate takes effect in 2014, although the filing doesn’t mention whether or not she would be eligible for subsidies. Her lawyer states that she and other small business owners will be harmed due to federal interference in their business and spending matters.

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