Minnesota Appeals Court Hears Case Against Healthcare Reform

The U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Paul, Minn., became the fourth appeals court to consider a challenge against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as it heard arguments in a case brought by two Missourians, according to a Kaiser Health News report.

A three-judge panel for the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals will decide whether the plaintiffs, Samantha Hill and Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, can pursue their case challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate. A lower court ruled the two cannot challenge the law because they "failed to demonstrate it would harm them directly," according to the report.

In June, a three-judge panel in a Cincinnati federal court ruled 2 to 1 to uphold the PPACA, becoming the first appellate court to rule in favor of the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Then, a federal appeals court in Atlanta ruled in August that the insurance mandate provision of the healthcare reform law is unconstitutional. While the three-judge panel voted 2-1 that Congress cannot require all Americans to buy health insurance, the court ruled the rest of the healthcare law is constitutional. In early September, a federal appeals court in Virginia was the third federal court to hear a challenge to the healthcare reform law, this time 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.

Related Articles on Healthcare Reform Challenges:

Supreme Court Could Hear Arguments on Health Reform in March

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