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5 Dec, 2012

Will the courts enforce the Origination Clause against Obamacare?

Author |Healthcare|1 Comment

The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto writes that Pacific Legal Foundation’s challenge to Obamacare is unlikely to succeed. Assuming that Obamacare’s monetary exaction for not buying insurance is a tax, as the Supreme Court called it in its June opinion, still not all taxes are “bills for raising revenue,” which the Constitution requires to be generated by the […]

12 Sep, 2012

Taking the next step in challenging Obamacare

Author |Healthcare|0 Comments

Pacific Legal Foundation continues to be on the front lines in the constitutional challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In a new complaint filed yesterday on behalf of client Matt Sissel, PLF attorneys have asked Judge Beryl Howell to rule that Congress ignored the Constitution’s Origination Clause when it enacted the Obamacare […]

5 Apr, 2012

President Obama’s Clash With The Courts

Author |Healthcare|0 Comments

I spoke this morning with Armstrong & Getty about President Obama’s comments about the judiciary’s power to strike down laws as unconstitutional. You can listen here. I think the whole thing is a tempest in a teapot. No doubt President Obama was wrong to say that his health care overhaul was “passed by a strong […]

29 Mar, 2012

The Legal Writing Pro Dissects the Solicitor General’s Brief in the Affordable Care Act Case

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The Legal Writing Pro, Ross Guberman, sent me this great PDF (you can find it here), where he dissects the Solicitor General’s merits brief in the Affordable Care Act case. For those of you who do not know Ross, he is a legal writing master who instructs law school students, lawyers, and judges on how to […]

19 Mar, 2012

Previewing the Obamacare cases

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In the run-up to the oral arguments in the Obamacare cases, I have a series of posts over at PLF Liberty Blog explaining the issues involved. The first installments are listed below; the rest are coming between now and the arguments, which begin a week from today.

What to look for in the Obamacare arguments

First things […]

13 Feb, 2012

PLF Urges Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare

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In its final brief in the Obamacare saga, PLF has joined forces with several other pro-freedom groups in challenging the constitutionality of the Individual Mandate provision of Obamacare. This is our eleventh brief challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare. You can read it here.

In it, we argue that the Mandate exceeds Congress’ constitutional authority to “regulate […]

2 Nov, 2011

Obamacare: PLF urges Supreme Court to let Virginia defend its citizens from federal overreaching

Author |Healthcare|1 Comment

This morning, Pacific Legal Foundation—joined again by our friends at Americans for Free Choice in Medicine, the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, and our client Matt Sissel—filed this brief in the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to review Virginia’s lawsuit against the Obama Administration’s health care law. This is the second brief PLF filed this week […]

21 Sep, 2011

The Other Big Healthcare Case

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The other big healthcare case this term is actually three cases. In Douglas v. Independent Living Center of Southern California, Douglas v. California Pharmacists Association, and Douglas v. Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, the State of California has asked the Court to review 9th Circuit rulings that struck down the state’s effort to reduce Medicaid reimbursement rates for health care providers. The Court will hear oral argument in these cases on Monday, October 3, 2011.

(Not to be confused with The Big Healthcare Case, which is actually eighteen individual cases rattling around federal court dockets at all levels, including Thomas More Law Center v. Obama, where the government’s brief in opposition is due in the US Supreme Court next week; you can follow all of the Obama-care cases at the ACA Litigation Blog.)

In 2008, the California legislature passed a law that would have reduced state reimbursements to Medicaid providers by 10%. (In the course of litigation, lawmakers would make other attempts to reduce reimbursement rates, thus the three different cases currently pending.) Various providers and beneficiary groups sued to enjoin implementation of the new reimbursement scheme. Under the federal Medicaid Act, a participating state’s reimbursement plan must ensure that beneficiaries have the same access to quality healthcare as the general public. The plaintiffs worried that such a drastic reduction of payments would drive providers away from the Medicaid market, and would operate to diminish the availability and quality of care for Medicaid beneficiaries. They argued that the effect of the state law reducing payments conflicted with the text of the federal law demanding appropriate care for beneficiaries, and asked the court to strike the state law as a violation of the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution.

After various dismissals, appeals, and remands–as well as an earlier failed petition to the US Supreme Court–the 9th Circuit agreed with the plaintiffs and voided […]

21 Jun, 2011

Obamacare and the Platonic Guardians of medicine

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In our latest round with Obamacare, Pacific Legal Foundation today filed a friend of the court brief in the Arizona federal district court in Coons v. Geithner, a case that challenges the constitutionality of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB. That’s the agency that, under the Obamacare law, will exercise virtually unchecked power to set […]

2 Mar, 2011

The Fight for Adequate Prevention and Treatment of Eating Disorders

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We are fortunate to have my wife, Ann Marie, guest blogging today about an important issue: eating disorders. If you unaware of my wife’s story, here it is: She struggled with anorexia for twenty years. At several points, she dropped down to 60-some pounds and was on the verge of death. But she battled back. She beat the disease, ultimately earning a master’s degree and counseling young women in Omaha. And right when it looked like she had completely turned her life around, she had to go and marry me!


Last week marked National Eating Disorders Awareness week. Each year, a week is devoted to promoting awareness and prevention of eating disorders in the United States through various creative means including panel discussions, body image presentations, meditation and yoga events, art fairs, and candlelight vigils honoring the memory of loved ones who lost their lives to an eating disorder. It also marks a time for reflecting on the effectiveness of treatment protocols and advocating for treatment to be available to all who suffer. […]