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Small Business Group Seeks Immediate Supreme Court Review of Health-Care Lawsuit

Source: NFIB

Posted on 28 Sep 2011

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) today filed a petition for certiorari asking the Supreme Court of the United States to hear its case challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The petition for certiorari, filed by the NFIB and its co-plaintiffs, seeks an expeditious resolution, during the Supreme Court's upcoming term, to the outstanding question of whether the entire new health-care law should be invalidated because the individual mandate exceeds the enumerated powers granted to Congress by the Constitution.

“The 11th Circuit ruling confirmed NFIB’s view that the individual mandate in the health-care law is unconstitutional. It is now imperative that the Supreme Court rule on whether the entire law can stand without the mandate,” said Karen Harned, executive director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center.

“The sooner the Court takes up this case, the sooner small businesses and individuals will know whether they will have to bear the full weight, financially and economically, of this bad law.”

“While the survival of the new health-care law remains an open question, small businesses and individuals will continue to face uncertainty and trepidation, hesitant to hire or expand,” Harned said. “In filing our petition today, we are attempting to impress upon the Court the urgency of this issue.”

According to NFIB’s petition, the economic impact resulting from the current uncertainty in the health-insurance market is already taking a heavy toll on both big and small businesses. Many businesses are currently in the process of making irreversible fiscal planning for the upcoming years; the unknown potential costs of PPACA are preventing many firms from growing or expanding.

Currently, two federal courts of appeals have ruled on the constitutionality of the individual mandate; one has upheld the mandate, and another has struck it down. 

The lower courts are also divided on the question whether the rest of the PPACA can survive if the mandate is unconstitutional. In the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, NFIB successfully argued that the mandate is unconstitutional, and the Eleventh Circuit's decision makes Supreme Court review extremely likely.

NFIB is the nation’s leading small-business advocacy organization, representing 350,000 small businesses around the country.  It is also the only business organization in the lawsuit brought by 26 states against the health-care law.