Monday, June 25, 2012

If Health Reform Law Survives, Litigation Will Continue

Via The Volokh Conspiracy

Unless the Supreme Court decides to eliminate the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in its entirety, Florida v. Sebelius is not the end of health care reform litigation, but only the beginning. Lawsuits are already pending challenging everything from the contraception mandate to the black lung benefits provisions to the structure of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, as Reuters reported last week. More will follow.

In tomorrow’s USA Today, Cato’s Michael Cannon and I discuss another potential lawsuit that will be filed if the health care law survives: A challenge to the IRS rule providing tax credits and premium assistance for qualifiying health insurance plans sold on federally run exchanges. As I noted here and here, the text of the PPACA only authorizes tax credits and premium assistance for insurance plans purchased in state-run exchanges. If a state refuses to create an exchange, the federal government is supposed to create a “fallback” exchange, but the law does not provide for tax credits and premium assistance for insurance plans purchased on these “fallback” exchanges. The IRS rule tries to fix this by rewriting the statute, without any textual warrant. I discussed the rule in this Cato video.

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