NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS et. al, Appellant v. KATHLEEN SEBELIUS et. al, RespondentTHE SUPREME ULTIMATE OMNIPOTENT HANSON COURTJUDGES: Authored by Joseph Sims and Thomas Shellum with whom Chief Justice Jim Hanson concurs.March 1, 2012, FiledPRIOR HISTORY: Appeal from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh District Nos: 11-393 &11-400. Date filed: August 12, 2011COUNSEL: For Appellant(s): Zachary Johnston, Salem Law Services, Salem, ORFor Respondent(s): Mitchell S. Dunn, Damascus Legal Ltd., Damascus, ORDISPOSITION: Affirmed in part, Denied in part.| Shrishti Trivedi (1083039)
On March 23, 2010, two days after the U.S. House passed it by a narrow vote, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. PPACA more commonly came to be called ObamaCare. Congress enacted this act in order to increase the number of Americans covered by health insurance and decrease the cost of health care. One key provision is the individual mandate, which requires most Americans to maintain “minimum essential” health insurance coverage. Beginning in 2014, those who do not comply with the mandate must make a “shared responsibility payment” to the federal government. The Act provides that this “penalty” will be paid to the Internal Revenue Service with an individual’s taxes and “shall be assessed and collected in the same manner” as tax penalties. Second, the ACA significantly expands the Medicaid program by providing health coverage to new classes of people that previously were not eligible, including adults without children and families with higher incomes. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the cost of the expansion at approximately $100 billion per year, approximately 40% above current levels. The ACA will provide new funds to States that agree to participate in the expansion. Under the existing Medicaid Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services has the discretion to withdraw all Medicaid funding from any State that does not comply with Medicaid's coverage requirements, which include the new requirements contained in the expansion. The Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) generally prevents taxpayers from challenging a tax in court before it becomes operative. Because the individual mandate and requirement to pay a penalty to the Internal Revenue Service if one fails to obtain insurance do not become operative until 2014, the challenge to that provision was arguably premature. On May 14, 2010, National Federation of Independent Business, America’s leading small‐business association, announced they would join the 26 states in a lawsuit in Federal District Court challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate and Medicaid expansion. On November 14, the Supreme Court combined these hearings into National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sibelius and issued a writ of certiorari. |
Procedural HistoryThe states’ suit, Florida v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was first heard in the U.S. District Court of Northern Florida. The court ruled the individual mandate, and thus the Affordable Care Act, unconstitutional. The 11th Circuit Court affirmed the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate, but ruled that the individual mandate portion of the act could be severed and the rest preserved. The businesses’ suit, National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sibelius, was first heard in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Virginia. As in Florida v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the court ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. The 4th Circuit Court reversed the decision. In September 2001, the Department of Justice filed for the Supreme Court to hear the case. On November 14, the Supreme Court combined these hearings into National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sibelius and issued a writ of certiorari.| |
Issues(1) Whether the Anti-Injunction Act prohibited the Court from reviewing...