US appeals court hears arguments on health care law

May 11, 2011

A US federal appeals court in Virginia began Tuesday examining two challenges to President Barack Obama's controversial health care law.

It's the first time any challenge of the law, one of Obama's key domestic achievements, has reached the level. predict that ultimately the will decide the matter.

The law, extending coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans, has been bitterly debated and challenged across the United States since Congress passed it last year.

Opponents say a key provision known as the "individual mandate" exceeds Congress's regulatory powers by requiring Americans to either purchase health insurance by 2014 or pay a fine.

On Tuesday, the appeals court heard arguments in the state of Virginia's case, which says forcing people to buy health insurance is unconstitutional. A lower court agreed with the state's argument, which led to the appeal.

The state of Virginia had passed a law specifically stating that residents cannot be forced to buy .

Another complaint against the mandate was filed by the Liberty University, located in Virginia. A lower court had ruled against the Christian-based university's argument.

The three appeals court judges randomly selected to hear the cases all were appointed by Democratic presidents, which could benefit Obama and the law's supporters.

A decision is expected at the end of the summer.

On April 25, the Supreme Court rejected Virginia's request to immediately rule on whether the law is constitutional.

It marked the second time the nation's highest court denied a request from critics of the law for an expedited review, without the issue being examined thoroughly in appeals courts first.

Two Republican-appointed federal judges -- in Virginia and Florida -- have already declared the law unconstitutional.

But, in another sign of how the rulings have been largely split along party lines, three Democratic appointees have upheld the law -- in Michigan, Virginia and the US capital Washington.

Explore further: Air quality and unconventional oil and gas sites

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Judge in Va. strikes down federal health care law

Dec 13, 2010

(AP) -- A federal judge declared the foundation of President Barack Obama's health care law unconstitutional Monday, ruling that the government cannot require Americans to purchase insurance. The case is ...

US judge deals new blow to Obama health reform

Jan 31, 2011

A second US federal judge Monday declared President Barack Obama's health care law unconstitutional, sparking a fierce new showdown with Republicans who vow to repeal the historic reform act.

Court Denies Vonage Bid for Patent Case Retrial

May 04, 2007

A U.S. appeals court denies a request by Internet phone company Vonage Holdings that it order a retrial in the patent infringement case brought against it by Verizon Communications.

The constitutionality of health care reform

Feb 15, 2011

President Obama’s health care reform legislation has been the subject of lively political and legal debate. Many lawsuits have been filed to prevent the implementation of the legislation. These lawsuits claim that ...

Recommended for you

Sexual fantasies: Are you normal?

3 hours ago

Hoping for sex with two women is common but fantasizing about golden showers is not. That's just one of the findings from a research project that scientifically defines sexual deviation for the first time ever. It was undertaken ...

AMA 'Code of Ethics' offers guidance for physicians

8 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The American Medical Association (AMA) Code of Ethics and other articles provide guidance for physicians in relation to public health emergencies, according to a report from the AMA.

Pot-infused edibles: One toke over the line in Colorado?

12 hours ago

Marijuana shops have sprouted across Denver ever since Colorado legalized the drug for adults in January, but the popularity of pot-infused edibles has surprised authorities, and parents are seeking a ban ahead of Halloween.

User comments : 10

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

RobertKarlStonjek
3 / 5 (4) May 11, 2011
If they could get away with it, Republicans would extend leper colonies to include the uninsured...
Shelgeyr
1 / 5 (2) May 12, 2011
What part of "let the uninsured remain uninsured if they wish" involves consigning them to leper colonies?

Now, I'll readily admit that I'd be happy to banish quite a few members of Congress - pulling from both sides of the aisle - to a leper colony or worse, but that's just a personal dream, not a party plank.
RobertKarlStonjek
3.4 / 5 (5) May 14, 2011
I have comprehensive insurance in Australia, costs me nothing...
The US insurance is out of the reach of many people ~ the USA has the highest incidence of bankruptcy from medical expenses in the western world.
Even when the US was still the richest and most powerful country in the world they couldn't manage to look after their own sick ~ a pathetic record.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) May 15, 2011
I have comprehensive insurance in Australia, costs me nothing...

Do Australian health care providers volunteer their services?
I doubt it. Then you do pay health care costs. You just don't know what you pay.
That is a fundamental problem with third party payers. When the customer pays and knows what he is paying, his choices drive competition and efficiency.
That does not occur in the USA except for certain areas not covered by insurance. Laser eye surgery is usually not covered by insurance, yet its quality has increased and its costs have decreased.

BTW, the appeals court judges were appointed by 'liberals'. Any bets on how they will rule?
RobertKarlStonjek
1 / 5 (1) May 15, 2011
I should have mentioned that the comprehensive cover I mentioned is only a basic cover (no private hospital, no frills), so the mix between private and public is a good one in Oz. The health care levy is, I think, 0.5% on top of taxes (could be higher, I haven't looked lately) and you can opt out of the higher tax for higher earners (1.5% I think) if you have comprehensive private cover.

And yes, the laser surgery is available and covered as well. I had laser treatment myself for a detached retina. My mother had plastic lenses inserted but that was only partly covered ~ I think it cost about $500 per eye...no longer needs glasses, not bad for 82 yo!!
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) May 15, 2011
Do Australian health care providers volunteer their services? I doubt it. Then you do pay health care costs. You just don't know what you pay.
Well we do know what we pay, and they pay a helluva lot less for equivalent care per person.
That is a fundamental problem with third party payers. When the customer pays and knows what he is paying, his choices drive competition and efficiency.
Is that why we have the most expensive system with the worst average outcomes in the first world?
BTW, the appeals court judges were appointed by 'liberals'. Any bets on how they will rule?

Show us some evidence of bias. Go ahead.
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (6) May 15, 2011
"A federal appeals court panel expressed strong support Tuesday for the sweeping health care reform bill championed by President Barack Obama. It was the first appellate hearing on the law's constitutionality."
"All three judges hearing the case, named to the bench by Democratic presidents, suggested the law is valid, despite objections from the state as well as private groups and individuals."
http://articles.c...POLITICS
The case has still not been presented in court.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) May 15, 2011
That is a statement of the judges opinions on the constituionality of the bill. Did not the conservative Supreme Court justices do the very same? Would you say that they are biased even though they agree with your point of view?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) May 15, 2011
That is a statement of the judges opinions on the constituionality of the bill. Did not the conservative Supreme Court justices do the very same? Would you say that they are biased even though they agree with your point of view?

Did they make their comments BEFORE they heard the case?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) May 16, 2011
That is a statement of the judges opinions on the constituionality of the bill. Did not the conservative Supreme Court justices do the very same? Would you say that they are biased even though they agree with your point of view?

Did they make their comments BEFORE they heard the case?

Yes, and they still haven't heard the case, yet they keep running their mouths. Much like you.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.