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DC Federal Court Decision Upholding PPACA 2-2011

DC Federal Court Decision Upholding PPACA 2-2011

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Published by Drew M. Capuder

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Published by: Drew M. Capuder on Aug 15, 2011
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08/15/2011

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA  ______________________________ MARGARET PEGGY LEE MEAD, )et al.,))Plaintiffs,))v.)Civil Action No. 10-950 (GK))ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., et al.,))Defendants.) ______________________________) MEMORANDUM OPINION
Plaintiffs Margaret Peggy Lee Mead, Charles Edward Lee, SusanSeven-Sky, Kenneth Ruffo, and Gina Rodriguez bring this actionagainst Defendants Eric H. Holder, Jr., Kathleen Sebelius, andTimothy F. Geithner in their official capacities and DefendantsUnited States Department of Health and Human Services and UnitedStates Department of the Treasury. Plaintiffs seek a declarationpursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-2202 that the individual insurancemandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L.No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010), as amended by the Health Careand Education Reconciliation Act, Publ. L. No. 111-152, 124 Stat.1029 (2010) (“Affordable Care Act” or “ACA”) is unconstitutional onits face. Plaintiffs also seek injunctive relief againstenforcement of the mandate.This matter is presently before the Court on Defendants’Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs’ Amended Complaint [Dkt. No. 15]
Case 1:10-cv-00950-GK Document 39 Filed 02/22/11 Page 1 of 64
 
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
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On January31, 2011, oral argument was heard on Defendants’ Motion. Uponconsideration of the Motion, Opposition, Reply, the argumentspresented by the parties in open court, and the entire recordherein, and for the reasons set forth below, the Motion to Dismissis
granted
.The present litigation is one of many similar lawsuitschallenging the Affordable Care Act in United States DistrictCourts around the country. The controversy surrounding thislegislation is significant, as is the public’s interest in thesubstantive reforms contained in the Act. It is highly likely thata decision by the United States Supreme Court will be required toresolve the constitutional and statutory issues which have beenraised. Needless to say, this Court’s personal views on the
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In their August 20, 2010, Motion to Dismiss, Defendantsalso moved for dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure12(b)(1), arguing that Plaintiffs lacked standing, that this casewas not ripe for judicial review, and that this case was barred bythe Anti-Injunction Act, 26 U.S.C. § 7421. See Defs.’ Mot. at 9-16[Dkt. No. 15]. On January 21, 2011, Defendants filed a Noticestating that they do not intend to pursue their Rule 12(b)(1)arguments. See Notice Regarding Mot. to Dismiss [Dkt. No. 34]. TheCourt therefore will deem the Defendants’ arguments concerning theAnti-Injunction Act waived and will not consider them. However,because the parties cannot waive any defect in this Court’sjurisdiction, the arguments concerning standing and ripeness willstill be addressed. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1945,173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (“Subject-matter jurisdiction cannot beforfeited or waived and should be considered when fairly indoubt.”) (citations omitted).
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Case 1:10-cv-00950-GK Document 39 Filed 02/22/11 Page 2 of 64
 
necessity, prudence, or effectiveness of the Affordable Care Actare of no moment whatsoever. The only issues concerning the ACApresently before this Court are those raised by the parties:namely, whether § 1501 passes muster under the Constitution of theUnited States, and whether it violates the Religious FreedomRestoration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb et seq. (“RFRA”).
I.Background
On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed theAffordable Care Act into law in an effort to curb rising healthcare costs and to provide greater coverage for the more than 45million Americans who were uninsured during 2009. See Cong. BudgetOffice, Key Issues in Analyzing Major Health Insurance Proposals 1(2008), available at http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/99xx/doc9924/12-18-keyissues.pdf. The ACA contains many provisionsdesigned to improve access to the national health care market,reduce health care costs, and increase coverage for those who nowlack protection. For example, the ACA (1) creates state-operatedhealth benefit exchanges which enable individuals and smallbusinesses to obtain price-competitive health insurance, see ACA §§1311, 1321, (2) expands Medicaid coverage, see ACA § 2001, (3)prohibits insurance companies from denying or increasing the priceof coverage to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions,from limiting the amount of coverage available, and from rescinding
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Case 1:10-cv-00950-GK Document 39 Filed 02/22/11 Page 3 of 64

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