Legal challenge to health law taxes rejected by appeals court

The lawsuit brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation and a small business owner argued that the overhaul was in violation of the Constitution's Origination Clause.

The Associated Press: Appeals Court Rejects Tax Challenge To Obamacare
Rejecting the latest effort to sidetrack "Obamacare," a federal appeals court turned away a challenge by a conservative group that said Congress imposed new taxes unconstitutionally when it created the Affordable Care Act. Pacific Legal Foundation and a small-business owner, Matt Sissel, argued that the Affordable Care Act is a bill for raising revenue and that it violated the Origination Clause of the Constitution because it began in the Senate, not the House. The Constitution requires that legislation to raise revenue must start in the House (7/29).

Politico: Court Throws Out An Obamacare Tax Law Challenge
Obamacare watchers broadly expected the suit to fail, although its profile was raised this spring after the Washington Post's George Will wrote a column saying it would doom Obamacare (Norman, 7/29).

Meanwhile, in news about other challenges to the health law -

Bloomberg: West Virginia Sues Over Obamacare Non-complying Plan Rule
West Virginia's attorney general sued the Obama administration over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, claiming rules for the health-care law's transition rendered millions of insurance plans unlawful. Patrick Morrisey, a Republican, faulted President Barack Obama for an "administrative fix" last year that burdens states with the cancellation or approval of health-care plans that don't comply with the new law. Shifting that responsibility to states violates provisions of the health-care overhaul and constitutional limitations on the powers of the U.S. government, according to the complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Washington (Rosenblatt, 7/30).

The Associated Press: GOP-Led House Ready to OK Lawsuit Against Obama
Republicans are ready to muscle legislation through the House authorizing an election-year lawsuit against President Barack Obama that accuses him of exceeding his powers in enforcing his health care law. A party-line vote -; and plenty of sharp partisan rhetoric -; were expected when the GOP-led chamber considers the measure Wednesday. Democrats dismiss the proposal as a legally groundless exercise that could end up costing taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees and other expenses (Fram, 7/30).

The Washington Post: Obama To Lash Out At Republicans Over 'Stunt'
President Obama will lash out at House Republicans on Wednesday for their plans to sue him over his use of executive authority, the White House said, in what appears to be part of a burgeoning effort to highlight what Democrats see as outlandish acts by Republicans in an election-year. The White House and Democratic candidates have been showering attention on the potential lawsuit by House Republicans and chitchat in Washington over potential impeachment proceedings as a way to portray the GOP as out-of-touch with the concerns of ordinary voters and infatuated with political theatrics (Goldfarb, 7/30).

Fox News: Emails Show White House Adviser Intervened on Obamacare 'Bailout' After Industry Appeals
Newly released emails show a key White House adviser intervened on behalf of the health insurance industry after an executive repeatedly warned that massive premium hikes were coming unless the administration expanded an ObamaCare program that Republicans call an industry "bailout." The insurance industry ultimately got a more "generous" offer from the administration -- one that Republicans warn could transfer potentially billions of taxpayer dollars into the Affordable Care Act to bail out insurance companies (Berger, 7/29).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from 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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