Health Care Reform Wins a Round as Appeals Court Throws Out Challenges

Well, no one said that the road to health care reform would be simple — or easy.

Just weeks after the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today struck down the health care reform requirement that virtually all Americans must carry insurance or face penalties, the Cincinnati-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that the state of Virginia “has no right to challenge the law’s requirement that nearly all Americans buy insurance,” according to a story on the website Politico.

In addition, “the court also said effectively that Liberty University couldn’t challenge the law before the mandate goes into effect.”

When federal Circuit Courts of Appeal issue conflicting rulings, as they have here over health care reform, it means that the U.S. Supreme Court must get involved to sort out the conflict. If there was ever any doubt that the high court would get involved in the health care reform conflict, well, it’s pretty clear now that they will.

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Probably more legal battles to come

And, I’ll repeat here what I noted when the 11th Circuit issued its ruling in August: all of this just shows how difficult it will be for executives and HR professionals who are trying to plan for the health care mandates that will kick in over the next few years. Yes, there is much more legal wrangling over Obamacare still to come

A federal appeals court on Thursday threw out two challenges to President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul on procedural grounds.

Delivering a two-pronged win to the Obama administration, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said Virginia has no right to challenge the law’s requirement that nearly all Americans buy insurance. The court also said effectively that Liberty University couldn’t challenge the law before the mandate goes into effect.

The legal victories might not provide the administration with much political ammunition against the law’s critics, though, since the rulings didn’t focus on the merits of the law.”

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of TLNT.com. A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at johnhollon@ere.net, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.

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