U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Issues Ultimatum on Physician-Owned Hospital Restriction
Judge Smith is hearing PHA's appeal of a lower court's ruling that upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's Section 6001. This section prohibits physician-owned hospitals from expanding existing facilities or building new hospitals. PHA is arguing that the section is unconstitutional on the grounds of retroactivity and a lack of just compensation.
Judge Smith's ultimatum calls for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to send him a three-page, single-spaced letter by noon Thursday addressing whether President Barack Obama's recent public statements that the PPACA should be upheld signal a belief that the judiciary does not have the right to overturn a federal statute on constitutional grounds.
The Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of the PPACA — in part or whole — after last week's three days of hearings on the subject. Yesterday, President Obama said the Supreme Court's ruling against the law would be an example of "judicial activism," according to a New York Times report.
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