Topics
More on Compliance & Legal

Affordable Care Act heads to appeals court on Tuesday

The federal court declined a request by Republicans for more time; Briefs are to be filed by end-of-day Friday.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is among Republicans arguing against the constitutionality of the ACA.Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is among Republicans arguing against the constitutionality of the ACA.

Republicans lost their bid to postpone oral arguments in the case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Tuesday declined their motion for an extension of 20 days to give them time to file briefs on whether Democrats have standing in the case, but did grant them a couple of extra days to file their briefs, from July 3 to end-of-day July 5. The Republican plaintiffs wanted oral arguments scheduled after the 20-day extension.

The court will hear oral arguments at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9. Each side will have 45 minutes to present its case.

IMPACT

At stake is the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Texas and the 19 other Republican-led states brought the lawsuit last year, after the individual mandate was struck down. Without a tax penalty for not having coverage, the entire law is moot, they argued. A lower court agreed.

Democrats appealed and are also defending whether they have standing in the case as intervenors. The appeals court last week requested information on whether the Democratic attorneys general and the U.S. House of Representatives have legal standing.

Whatever the outcome of State of Texas v. United States, the case may head to the Supreme Court for a decision on President Obama's signature healthcare law.

THE LARGER TREND

Providers have argued that the ACA has helped to insure those who would otherwise have no coverage for treatment, leaving hospitals and physician practices to foot the bill.

After shakiness in the market in which premiums rose and insurers left, many payers have found stability and a good business model in the ACA.

While enrollment dropped by half a million during the last enrollment period, more than 11 million consumers have health insurance coverage in the ACA marketplaces and another 11 million through Medicaid expansion.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com