(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up a new constitutional challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), turning away an appeal that said lawmakers used flawed legislative procedures to pass the measure.
Opponents of PPACA, or Obamacare, were seeking to sway a court that has upheld core parts of the measure twice since 2012, most recently in June. In the latest case, they argued that the law violated the constitutional requirement that revenue-raising legislation start in the House before proceeding to the Senate.
In declining to hear that contention, the high court all but ensured that PPACA will remain intact through the November election. The rebuff leaves health care as one of the core issues in the presidential and congressional campaigns.
The latest challenge was pressed by the Pacific Legal Foundation, an advocacy group based in Sacramento, Calif., on behalf of Matt Sissel, an Iowa artist and small-business owner.
The suit had gained little traction in the lower courts, even as it provoked a party-line divide on the legal reasoning. A federal trial judge in Washington upheld the law, as did a unanimous panel of three Democratic-appointed judges.
A larger panel of judges then voted not to reconsider the case. Although the four Republican appointees on the 11-member Washington appeals court would have heard arguments, they also said they would have upheld the law for different reasons.
At issue was a rarely invoked constitutional provision known as the origination clause, which says that “all bills raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.”
Sissel’s lawyers said the PPACA bill qualified as a revenue-raising bill, in part, because of the 2012 Supreme Court decision interpreting the law as imposing a tax on people who forgo health insurance.