Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Tuesday's Tidbits

Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida struck down the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional at the request of 26 States, the NFIB, and two individuals. The Court in a 78 page opinion  held that the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the related Necessary and Proper clause does not grant Congress the power to regulate inactivity, specifically the failure to buy health insurance.  The federal government has appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit has decided to expedite its consideration of the government's appeal of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia's decision similarly holding the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate unconstitutional according to Business Insurance.  The Court will hear argument in May 2011. It certainly appears that we are headed toward a Supreme Court decision in 2012. Ever since the Supreme Court's decision in the most recent case concerning the FEHB Program, the FEHBlog has given up predicting Supreme Court decisions.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act tomorrow at 10 am. The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has promised a hearing on the same topic later this month.

The Hill healthcare blog reports that the Senate may vote tomorrow on a  Senate Minority Leader proposed  amendment to an FAA reauthorization bill (S. 223) that would repeal the Affordable Care Act. "Democrats will likely use a maneuver that would force the GOP to round up an impossible 60 votes to repeal the reform law, meaning that 13 Democrats would have to vote with Republicans." The Senate also will vote on a separate measure to repeal the Affordable Care Act's expansion of 1099 tax reporting.

The AMA News reports on the progress of a House measure to control health care provider liability for malpractice. The article notes that 
"The AMA does not favor repealing the entire health reform law, but it would support amending it with medical liability reform legislation, a measure to fix the Medicare physician pay formula, and a bill to repeal a provision in the law requiring additional expense reporting by businesses that would apply to some physician practices, said AMA President Cecil B. Wilson, MD. Obama and many Democrats in Congress have said they would support repealing the business expense reporting provision."

No comments: