The most controversial part of the Affordable Care Act is, without at doubt, the part that would require all Americans to purchase health insurance in 2014. There have been several cases filed questioning the constitutionality of this mandatory requirement, and appeals filed shortly after the outcome of each case was known. The American Center for Law and Justice is planning on filing an appeal to the court case regarding the was recently decided upon by Judge Kessler.
I have been writing for this Insurance blog since July of 2010. It amazes me how many articles I have written about insurance that have something to do with a lawsuit. There have been several lawsuits filed questioning if parts of the Affordable Care Act are unconstitutional. There have been cases involving insurance fraud committed by large insurance companies. When I started writing, I never would have guessed that I would wind up reading so many news articles that detailed the outcome of court cases that involved insurance companies, or insurance in general.
U. S. District Judge Gladys Kessler recently dismissed a lawsuit filed by the American Center for Law and Justice on behalf of five Americans who did not wish to purchase health insurance. Three of these citizens felt that the requirement for all Americans to buy health insurance in 2014, (or pay a fine), was against their religious freedom. These three people have intentionally chosen not to purchase health insurance, and have stated that they will never purchase health insurance, because doing so would imply that they had doubts about God providing for their needs.
Judge Kessler pointed out that anyone who does not wish to purchase health insurance, for whatever reason, will not have to. They can choose to pay a fine instead. She also expressed doubts that anyone can realistically know, without a doubt, that they would refuse all medical care after experiencing a serious illness or injury.
In keeping with what usually seems to happen when someone loses their case regarding health insurance, the American Center for Law and Justice is interested in filing an appeal. According to the OneNewsNow website, attorney Edward White says that the ACLJ still maintains that the mandatory health insurance requirement is unconstitutional, because it is “a major step towards socialized medicine”. He wants to prevent having bureaucrats being in charge of making decisions regarding health care, instead of doctors.
I find his reasons for wanting to file an appeal interesting. The original case was filed because the plaintiffs felt that the health insurance requirement violated their religious freedom. Now, it sounds as though the ACLJ is interested in filing for an appeal because they feel the health insurance requirement is unconstitutional, and because they fear that doctors decisions will be replaced by the decisions of bureaucrats. I did not know one could file an appeal based on concepts that were not a part of the original court case.
Image by Glen Van Etten on Flickr