Federal judges hear 'origination clause' challenge to health law

The case, brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation in Sacramento, Calif., argues the law's insurance mandate is unconstitutional because the Constitution's origination clause requires all revenue-raising measures to originate in the House of Representatives and this legislation began in the Senate.

McClatchy: Judges Seem Skeptical Over Latest Challenge To Health Care Law
The seemingly endless legal war over health care found an esoteric new front Thursday, as appellate judges considered where certain bills should originate. Amid references to various 18th-century Founding Fathers, some of them obscure, skeptical-sounding judges weighed claims that the Affordable Care Act's so-called individual mandate is invalid because it violates an under-appreciated part of the Constitution called the Origination Clause. The clause says that all bills "for raising revenue" must originate in the House of Representatives. The case pressed Thursday by the Pacific Legal Foundation, based in Sacramento, Calif., is that the health care legislation was a revenue-raising measure that effectively started in the Senate (Doyle, 5/8).

CQ Healthbeat:  Appeals Court Hears 'Origination Clause' Challenge to Health Law
Members of a powerful federal appeals court appeared impassive during oral arguments Thursday in a case that aims to throw out the 2010 health care overhaul on the grounds that it unconstitutionally violated the procedures Congress must follow in making laws. But if the members of the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia weren't signaling how it would rule in Sissel v HHS, the odds seem slim that they'll side with the Iowa small business owner who's the named plaintiff in the case that pivots around the Origination Clause of the Constitution (Reichard, 5/9).

Meanwhile, lawyers for several prominent Catholic organizations opened another battle about the law's contraceptive mandate -

Los Angeles Times: New Legal Battle Opens Over Obamacare And Contraceptives
Even as the Supreme Court weighs one challenge to the Obama administration's rule that female employees be offered health plans that include a full range of contraceptives, lawyers for several prominent Catholic groups are seeking to set up a potential Round 2 in the fight. In arguments Thursday before a U.S. appeals court, lawyers for the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington clashed with administration attorneys over whether Catholic schools, colleges and charities should have a complete religious exemption from the so-called contraceptive mandate that forms part of President Obama's healthcare law (Savage, 5/8).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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  1. Rick Averill Rick Averill United States says:

    "The seemingly endless legal war over health care found an esoteric new front"
    If the Obama administration and congressional Democrats had passed the law without resorting to all of their extra-constitutional sleight-of-hand, none of these problems would have ever come up.

  2. charles williams charles williams United States says:

    The Supreme Court has already ruled the ACA IS Constitutional ! So anything coming from this lower Court is just a waste of the that Courts own time ! Anyone with any kind of legal mind would just throw this case out of Court !

    • Richard Starr Richard Starr United States says:

      The Supreme Court ruled that the law was legal under the Congress's tax authority.  What it did NOT rule on was if the method of its passage was legal, a completely separate issue.

      The ACA got passed via a process that was less than kosher.
      They took a completely unrelated bill, gutted it, inserted completely new and unrelated text while pretending it was a mere amendment.

      If the origination clause is to be respected at all, this must be considered
      a bill that originated from the Senate.  If it originated from the Senate, then it is unconstitutional on its face since it is a Tax bill.  If you say it is not a tax bill, then the ACA has no legal basis to stand on.

      While this may be "new" to the writers of the article, it was something being discussed quite a bit last year.  This was why Obama was saying it was not a tax over and over again, he knew that as a tax it was not a constitutionally passed law.

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