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Employers Urge Swift Resolution to PPACA Legal Challenges
Appeals court’s health care law decision underscores importance of resolving constitutionality

By SHRM Online staff  6/30/2011
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A June 29, 2011, decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the constitutionality of the individual mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) underscores the need for the other appeals courts considering this matter to issue their opinions expeditiously,” said American Benefits Council President James A. Klein.

At issue in this case and other pending cases is whether the law’s individual mandate is a valid exercise of Congress’s authority under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. The Sixth Circuit Appeals Court was the first appeals court—and so far the highest court—to rule on this question. Oral arguments on this issue also have taken place in both the 4th and 11th circuit courts.

“Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court will determine the constitutionality of the mandate. Everyone involved in this process needs clarity and certainty around the important issues now being considered by the federal courts. The sooner this litigation moves through the judicial process, the better for all concerned—regardless of the final decision,” said Klein.

“In the event the Supreme Court strikes down the mandate it would also need to decide whether doing so invalidates the entire health care law or only the mandate itself,” said Klein. “We are still months away from a final judicial resolution. But employers who provide health coverage to workers and their families are as interested as citizens themselves in knowing the ultimate outcome,” Klein concluded.

The American Benefits Council is the national trade association for companies concerned about federal legislation and regulations affecting all aspects of the employee benefits system.

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