The U.S. Supreme Court may already have decided the fate of two major sets of litigation regarding the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).
The court held oral arguments in March, and observers note that the justices probably already have assigned associates to write the opinions justifying whatever conclusions the court reached, or failed to reach.
Now Paul Keckley, a consultant at the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Washington, reminds everyone that another major legal attack on PPACA is still in the pipeline.
In Houston, Keckley says, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of PPACA Section 6001, which prohibits physician-owned hospitals that had no Medicare provider agreement before Dec. 31, 2010, from participating in Medicare.
“The issue in question in Texas is the right of physicians to own and operate hospitals to which they refer patients,” Keckley says.
During oral arguments, one justice asked the U.S. Department of Justice to provide a letter on the department’s position on judicial review, Keckley notes.
We occasionally hear about “single-payer” proposals — proposals to put one giant government agency in charge of U.S. health finance.