March 26, 2012
Authored by: benefitsbclp
Update: Audio of today’s arguments are now available here.
Over the next few days we are going to post brief descriptions of the arguments the Supreme Court will hear in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al. v State of Florida, et al., the case challenging the landmark health reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”). As the audio of the oral arguments is released, we will post any links to the audio here.
By way of background, there are three parties to this litigation: (1) the U.S. Government who is defending the constitutionality of the law, (2) individuals (sometimes jointed by the National Federation of Independent Businesses) who are essentially arguing that they are harmed by the requirement to purchase insurance, and (3) 26 States, some of which are advocating that the individual mandate violates laws they have passed and some of which are advocating that the Medicaid expansion enacted under the health reform law is unconstitutionally coercive.
First up is the 90 minutes of argument on the Anti-Injunction Act.
What are they arguing about? The Anti-Injunction Act (the “AIA”) is a tax statute that prevents anyone from suing to preemptively prevent the collection or assessment of a tax. Its purpose is to keep all of us from suing about taxes we do not like until after the IRS has had a chance to determine how the tax will be enforced and assessed. Once the tax is assessed,