KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Health Law: Both Sides Aim For Supreme Court Action In March

The Obama administration even filed its legal briefs early — one outlining its defense of the measure's constitutionality in response to the 26-state challenge to the health law, the other responding to Liberty University's lawsuit. Meanwhile, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments Thursday in Missouri's official challenge.

The Associated Press: Supreme Court Notebook: Both Sides Aiming For Late March Hearing On Health Care Overhaul
The Obama administration and challengers of the president's health care overhaul are pushing for Supreme Court consideration of the law in late March, judging by the speed with which they are filing legal papers. Parties in a high court case rarely submit legal briefs before their deadline, and often ask for extensions. But this week, the Obama administration, the 26 states that have joined in opposition to the law and the association of small businesses that also wants the law struck down filed their briefs more than a week before they were due (Sherman, 10/20).

CQ HealthBeat: Health Care Briefs Pile Up In A Hurry At The Supreme Court
The Department of Justice has joined the rush to the Supreme Court, filing ahead of deadline its brief outlining its defense of the constitutionality of the health care law in response to a 26-state legal challenge. Lawyers for the government also have sent a separate brief, again ahead of time, responding to Liberty University's request that the high court also take up its suit against the law. That brief was not due until Nov. 10 (Norman, 10/19).

Politico Pro: Justice To SCOTUS: Don't Hear Liberty Case
The Obama administration is asking the Supreme Court to hold off hearing a health care reform lawsuit brought by Liberty University until it decides the similar suit brought by the 26 states and National Federation of Independent Business. The Justice Department filed the response about three weeks ahead of its due date, in a clear attempt to speed up Supreme Court review of the health care reform law's individual mandate. Government lawyers agreed that the mandate question and a corresponding question Liberty raised — whether the Anti-Injunction Act bars review of the mandate until at least 2014 — are important. "The government believes that both questions would best be addressed in connection with its certiorari petition [in the 26 states' suit] and that the court should accordingly hold this petition pending a decision in that case," government lawyers wrote (Haberkorn, 10/19).

Politico Pro: 8th Circuit To Hear Missouri Official's Lawsuit
Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder is the latest elected official to take a health care reform challenge to a federal appeals court. Kinder, a Republican, is asking the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday to overturn a lower court ruling that he and other Missouri residents cannot challenge the law's individual mandate. Kinder has filed the lawsuit in his official capacity as a senior advocate, he told POLITICO, after the state's Democratic attorney general and governor declined to join the 26 states' challenge. Kinder says he hopes to join the 26 states' lawsuit, which the Supreme Court appears likely to hear this term (Haberkorn, 10/20).

Minnesota Public Radio: Appeals Court To Hear Legal Challenge To Health Insurance Mandate
Legal challenges to President Barack Obama's federal health care law are percolating around the nation, and one of them has a major court date Thursday in Minnesota. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit will hear arguments in St. Paul on whether to revive a lawsuit brought by two Missouri residents. Samantha Hill and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder object to the law's mandate that they buy health insurance starting in 2014 (Stawicki, 10/20). 

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