U.S. Chamber Calls for Swift U.S. Supreme Court Review of Health Care Law

Monday, October 24, 2011 - 8:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C—The National Chamber Litigation Center (NCLC), the public policy law firm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, today filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to agree to resolve the deepening legal conflict over the fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The lead case is National Federation of Independent Business, et al. v. Sebelius, et al.

“Fundamental disagreement among the lower courts over the health care law adds another layer of uncertainty for employers trying to cope in our struggling economy,” said Lily Fu Claffee, general counsel of the Chamber. “This type of uncertainty undermines the ability of American businesses to plan for the future, and to make informed decisions on growth and hiring. The sooner the fate of the law can be resolved, the better for the American economy.”

Federal courts have recently split over the enforceability of the individual mandate – a central component of the PPACA that makes it possible for other health insurance reforms in the law to function as designed – as well as over whether the rest of the law can survive if the individual mandate is invalidated. The Chamber’s amicus brief does not address the constitutionality of the individual mandate, but instead urges the U.S. Supreme Court to agree to resolve each of these important legal questions swiftly and definitively.

The Chamber’s brief also explains that, if the PPACA’s remaining insurance reforms are left to stand without the individual mandate, it will wreak havoc on the health insurance market. Because the PPACA cannot function as intended without the individual mandate, the Chamber’s brief urges a swift determination that the individual mandate cannot be severed from the rest of the law.

“Without the individual mandate, the rest of the law would encourage consumers to apply for health insurance on the way to the emergency room,” said Bruce Josten, the Chamber’s executive vice president for Government Affairs. “This would raise premiums for consumers, force some insurers out of the individual market, and shift even greater costs to employers.”

“The new health care law imposes enormous and costly obligations on employers,” Josten stated. “A year after Congress passed the health care law, it is more obvious than ever that the law does nothing to curtail rising costs, it is producing a wave of new job-killing regulations, and it is chilling economic growth.”

To read the Chamber's amicus brief, please visit the National Chamber Litigation Center website: http://www.chamberlitigation.com. For more information on the health care reform law, please visit the Chamber’s Health Reform Impacts website: http://www.healthreformimpacts.com/

NCLC is the public policy law firm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that advocates fair treatment of business in the courts and before regulatory agencies.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.