A three-judge panel at the D.C. U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says a coalition that opposes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act raised a question about constitutionality too late to pursue the challenge at the appeals court level.
But Stephen Williams, a member of the panel, observed in an opinion explaining the ruling that another party is still moving ahead with an appeals court case that raises a similar question.
The panel was ruling on Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and Alliance for Natural Health USA vs. Kathleen Sebelius et al. (No. 13-5003).
AAPS – a group of physicians skeptical about Medicare and commercial managed care companies as well as PPACA – and the natural health group argued in a case filed in the U.S. District of Court for the District of Columbia that the minimum coverage provision is an unconstitutional undertaking, and that federal officials have violated fiduciary duties to the American people with poor management of Medicare and Social Security.
A district court judge filed a judgment for the government in 2012.
The D.C. appeals court panel looked only at the constitutional claims in the appeal, noting that consideration of the statutory claims would depend on the success of the constitutionality claims.