Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Challenge to Health Reform Law

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the healthcare reform law that was heard by Atlanta's 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the only federal court to strike down the insurance mandate portion of the healthcare reform law, according to a New York Times report.

The challenge was filed by 26 states, led by Florida. Paul D. Clement, a former United States solicitor general, represented the states in their challenge. In August, a panel of three judges in the Atlanta federal appeals court ruled 2-1 that Congress overreached its authority to regulate commerce and therefore cannot require Americans to buy health insurance. The court ruled the rest of the healthcare law constitutional.

That ruling will now come before a Supreme Court review amid the 2012 presidential campaign. In addition to the insurance mandate, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over the reform law's expanded Medicaid eligibility and coverage thresholds, according to the report.

The justices' ruling on the constitutionality of the highly contentious insurance mandate could affect the survival of other reform law provisions that are intimately tied to it. The notable provisions in question include one prohibiting insurers from turning away applicants and one prohibiting insurers from excluding consumers with pre-existing conditions.

In a statement, the White House reiterated its confidence in the healthcare reform law's constitutionality. 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:

Senate Approves Change to Definition of "Modified Adjusted Gross Income" Under ACA

Ohio Voters "Overwhelmingly" Approve Amendment to Block Insurance Mandate

Recently Upheld Healthcare Reform Challenge Will be Appealed

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