Home Affordable Care Act Appeals Court Bars Challenge to ACA Mandates

Appeals Court Bars Challenge to ACA Mandates

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by Robert Sheen

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to the individual and employer mandates of the Affordable Care Act. The court ruled that the taxpayer who filed the lawsuit lacked legal standing to pursue the case.

The lawsuit argued that the mandates are a form of tax and thus violated the Origination Clause of the Constitution, which says that taxes must originate in the House of Representatives. A federal district court had previously rejected this argument, ruling that the mandates are not subject to the Origination Clause.

The Court Appeals did not address the Origination Clause issue. It ruled that the petitioner, Dr. Steven Hotze, founder of the Conservative Republicans of Texas Texas, had failed to show that he had legal standing, or the right to sue over the mandate, because he had not suffered any injury related to it.

Justice E. Grady Jolly, writing for a three-judge appellate court panel, said Dr. Hotze could not challenge the employer mandate as a tax because the Anti-Injunction Act, which says taxes can only be challenged after they are paid, by suing for a refund.

Dr. Hotze had also argued that he had standing because he was paying higher premiums because of the ACA. Justice E. Grady Jolly, writing for a three-judge appellate court panel, said Dr. Hotze failed to show that the higher premiums were caused by the mandates.

The appeals court sent Hotze’s lawsuit back to the lower court with orders to dismiss it.

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