Tax Law Could Push Back Supreme Court Decision on Healthcare Reform

A tax law called the Anti-Injunction Act could delay a Supreme Court ruling on healthcare reform as the law prohibits courts from striking taxes before they go into effect, according to a report by The Hill.

The Obama administration has asked the high court to hear a challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act filed by the National Federation of Independent Business and 26 state attorneys general. In August, three-judge panel for the Atlanta Circuit Court of Appeals court heard the case and struck the individual mandate.

Both the administration and the NFIB both want the case to be heard by the Court rather than dismissed because of the tax law. The administration has argued the Court should not think of the mandate penalty as a tax in its decision to take the case; however in its defense of the penalty, it has previously called the penalty a "tax," according to the report. The NFIB has consistently argued the penalty is not a tax.

While the Court could ultimately decide to not hear the case because of the tax law, a legal expert cited in the report said there are ways the Supreme Court could "get around" the law and hear the case.

Related Articles on Healthcare Reform Challenges:

Supreme Court Could Hear Arguments on Health Reform in March
Obama Administration Won't Review Atlanta Health Reform Decision, Appeals Headed to Supreme Court Amid 2012 Election
Federal District Court Judge Rules Individual Mandate, 2 Other Health Law Provisions Unconstitutional

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