D.C. Court of Appeals Upholds Healthcare Reform Law

A federal court of appeals in Washington D.C., has ruled in a 2-1 vote to uphold the constitutionality of the insurance mandate under President Obama's healthcare reform law, according to a Politico report.

The original lawsuit challenging the insurance mandate was filed by Susan Seven-Sky, a New York chiropractor. Earlier this year, a Washington D.C. district court judge upheld the law.

The D.C. appeals court is the fourth federal appeals court to hear arguments challenging the constitutionality of the reform law's insurance mandate. Supporters of the reform law are calling the ruling a victory since the 32-page opinion was written by a conservative justice, according to the report.

In June, a Cincinnati federal court upheld the reform law and insurance mandate in a 2-1 vote. Then, an Atlanta federal appeals court ruled 2-1 in August that the insurance mandate provision of the healthcare reform law is unconstitutional, though the three-judge panel ruled the rest of the healthcare law is constitutional. In early September, a federal appeals court in Virginia heard a challenge to the healthcare reform law filed by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The appeals court ruled Mr. Cuccinelli cannot legally challenge the individual mandate because the provision does not impose any obligations on the state itself.

The D.C. court's ruling comes just before the Supreme Court will decide whether it will hear one or all challenges against the individual mandate. Since it is highly expected to hear arguments over the contentious provision, oral arguments could be heard as early as this spring with a final ruling scheduled before the high court's session expires in June.

Related Articles on Healthcare Reform:

10 Biggest Hospital Stories of 2011
Democrats May Have "Opportunity" if Individual Mandate is Struck Down
Public Democratic Support of Healthcare Reform Drops

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