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Constitutional Challenges to Obamacare
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in the Courts


On Thursday June 28, 2012 the US Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 5-4 ruling (777 KB) . The lawsuit that made its way to the Supreme Court, Florida V. Sebelius, was first filed on Mar. 23, 2010.

Shown below are 23 additional lawsuits that were filed against the PPACA up through the Supreme Court’s Florida v. Sebelius decision on June 28, 2012. 21 of the 24 cases had challenged the PPACA requirement that individuals must purchase health insurance. Other constitutional challenges to the PPACA involved the fine for not purchasing insurance, the federal authority to force states to implement health policy, financial disclosure rules for doctors, and the various changes made to the Medicare and Medicaid systems.

Supreme Court Decision: 1 PPACA found to be constitutional (5-4) in the case of Florida v. Sebelius
Other Cases: 1 case found that the PPACA violated the constitution
2 other cases that found the PPACA did not violate the constitution
6 cases are no longer active (lawsuit withdrawn by plaintiff or dismissed for procedural issues without an appeal)
14 cases pending initial decision or appealing a dismissal for procedural issues

Date Filed
(District)
Case Name
(click case name to read full text of complaint in PDF format )
Parts Challenged Current Standing
1. Mar. 19, 2010

(New Hampshire)
Mackenzie v. Shaheen (145 KB) Alleges PPACA is unconstitutional in general Case dismissed on May 26, 2010
2. Mar. 23, 2010

(West Virginia)
Liberty University v. Geithner (187 KB) Insurance mandate; Penalty for not aquiring insurance; Potential funding of abortion; Employer insurance requirements On Sep. 8, 2011 the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit dismissed the lawsuit for lack of standing. This decision will be appealed. Previously, on Nov. 30, 2010, a lower court judge had dismissed plaintiffs' lawsuit and ruled that the insurance mandate is constitutional.
3. Mar. 23, 2010

(Eastern Virginia)
Virginia v. Sebelius (1.7 MB) Insurance mandate On Sep. 8, 2011 the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit dismissed the lawsuit for lack of standing. This decision will be appealed. Previously, on Apr. 25, 2011 the United States Supreme Court unanimously rejected a petition from Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to bypass the 4th Circuit appeals court and have the Supreme Court immediately hear his challenge to the constitutionality of the PPACA. On Dec. 13, 2010, a judge ruled that the insurance mandate was unconstitutional. The decision was appealed to the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals.
4. Mar. 23, 2010

(Eastern Michigan)
Thomas More Law Center v. Obama (40 KB) Insurance mandate On June 29, 2011 a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled (2-1) to uphold the Oct. 7, 2010 decision of the lower court finding that the insurance mandate of the PPACA is constitutional and does not violate the Commerce Clause.
5. Mar. 23, 2010

(Northern Florida)
Florida v. Sebelius (187 KB) Insurance mandate; Penalty for not aquiring insurance; Medicaid expansion On Thursday June 28, 2012 the US Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in its 5-4 ruling.

Previously, on Nov. 14, 2011, the United States Supreme Court had agreed to decide whether or not the PPACA is constitutional, granting a petition for writ of certiorari submitted by the Department of Health and Human Services in Sep. 2011. On Aug. 12, 2011 a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled (2-1) to uphold a Jan. 31, 2011 decision of the lower court finding that the insurance mandate of the PPACA is unconstitutional and violates article I of the Constitution, the Commerce Clause, and the Necessary and Proper Clause.
6. Mar. 24, 2010

(Eastern Texas)
Bellow v. US DHHS (96 KB) Insurance mandate; Penalty for not aquiring insurance Case dismissed on Mar. 21, 2011
7. Mar. 24, 2010

(New Jersey)
NJ Physicians, Inc. v. Obama (318 KB) Insurance mandate; Penalty for not aquiring insurance Dismissed on Dec. 8, 2010. On appeal to 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.
8. Mar. 26, 2010

(DC)
AAPS v. Sebelius (310 KB) Insurance mandate; Insurance standards; Medicare rules for doctors Awaiting response on motion to dismiss (as of Dec. 13, 2010).
9. Apr. 2, 2010

(Southern Mississippi)
Walters v. Holder (906 KB) Insurance mandate; Penalty for not aquiring insurance; State worker health insurance requirements Case dismissed on Feb. 3, 2011
10. Apr. 7, 2010

(Western Oklahoma)
Calvey v. Obama (4 MB) Insurance mandate; Penalty for not aquiring insurance; Medical privacy Awaiting response on motion to dismiss (as of Dec. 13, 2010).
11. Apr. 8, 2010

(Eastern Tennessee)
Anthony Shreeve v. Obama (130 KB) Alleges Congress and the president lack authority to regulate health care in general Case dismissed for lack of standing on Nov. 4, 2010.
12. Apr. 9, 2010

(Central Pennsylvania)
Goudy-Bachman v. US DHHS (641 KB) Insurance mandate; Penalty for not aquiring insurance This case is currently moving through motions. Judge has not issued any rulings (as of Dec. 13, 2010).
13. Apr. 22, 2010

(Arizona)
F.H. Tea Party Patriots v. Sebelius (228 KB) Insurance mandate; Penalty for not aquiring insurance Plaintiffs motion to dismiss their own case was granted on June 16, 2010.
14. Apr. 27, 2010

(Eastern Arkansas)
Burlsworth v. Holder (389 KB) Insurance mandate; Penalty for not aquiring insurance Plaintiffs motion to dismiss their own case was granted on Sep. 8, 2010.
15. May 4, 2010

(New Hampshire)
Peterson v. Obama (290 KB) Insurance mandate; Penalty for not aquiring insurance; Reduction in Medicare budget; Student loan provisions Ruling on government motion to dismiss is pending (as of Dec. 13, 2010).
16. May 12, 2010

(Northern Ohio)
US Citizens Association v. Obama (1.4 MB) Insurance mandate; Penalty for not aquiring insurance; Medical privacy Case moving forward solely on insurance mandate issue. All other issues dismissed by judge on Nov. 22, 2010.
17. May 14, 2010

(Southern California)
Baldwin v. Sebelius (2 MB) Insurance mandate; Penalty for not aquiring insurance; Medical privacy; Potential funding of abortion Dismissed for lack of standing, Aug. 27, 2010. Appealed to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
18. June 3, 2010

(Eastern Texas)
Physician Hospitals v. Sebelius (539 KB) Provision that prohibits new doctor investment in hospitals that take Medicare patients & requires doctors to disclose any financial connections with hospitals to patients they refer On Mar. 31, 2011, judge granted defendant's motion for summary judgement and ruled that the provision concerning doctor investments and financial disclosure is constitutional.
19. June 9, 2010

(District of Columbia)
Mead v. Holder (1 MB) Insurance mandate On Nov. 8, 2011 a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled (2-1) that the insurance mandate of the PPACA is constitutional. Previously, on Feb. 22, 2011, a lower court judge had dismissed plaintiffs' lawsuit and ruled that the insurance mandate is constitutional. Pl
20. July 7, 2010

(Eastern Missouri)
Kinder v. Geithner (302 KB) Insurance mandate; Medicaide expansion; Payment changes for Medicare; Federal treatment recommendation panels; State worker health insurance requirements Awaiting government response (as of Dec. 13, 2010).
21. July 26, 2010

(DC)
Sissel v. US DHHS (169 KB) Insurance mandate Government motion to dismiss filed Nov. 15, 2010.
22. Aug. 12, 2010

(Arizona)
Coons v. Geithner (466 KB) Insurance mandate; Penalty for not aquiring insurance; Medical privacy; Medicaid expansion; Health insurance exchanges; Independent Medicare payment advisory board Ruling pending on motion for injunction to block implementation of Medicare advisory board (as of Dec. 13, 2010).
23. Aug. 31, 2010

(Nevada)
Ind. American Party of NV v. Obama (337 KB) Insurance mandate; Penalty for not aquiring insurance; Potential funding of abortion; Medical privacy; Employer insurance requirements
Awaiting hearing (as of Dec. 13, 2010).
24. Sep. 20, 2010

(New Jersey)
Purpura v. Sebelius (1.8 MB) Insurance mandate; Penalty for not aquiring insurance; Medicaide expansion; Religious exemptions from insurance mandate; Student loan provisions Ruling pending (as of Dec. 13, 2010).

Sources:

Amy Goldstein, "Status of Legal Challenges to Obama Health Care Overhaul," Washington Post, Dec. 13, 2010.

Goldwater Institute, "Federal Health Care Lawsuits," www.goldwaterinstitute.org (accessed Jan. 6, 2011)

Independent Womens Forum, "The Cases," www.healthcarelawsuits.org (accessed Jan. 6, 2011)

United States Department of Justice, "Defending the Affordable Care Act," www.justice.gov (accessed Apr. 21, 2011)