Nineteen organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Families USA and the National Association of Community Health Centers, have asked permission to file a friend-of-the-court brief backing the Obama administration in the marquee legal challenge against the healthcare reform law.
Groups seek to back reform in court challenge
In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Fla., the groups said that their brief would defend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act against the charge that the law would unconstitutionally commandeer state Medicaid programs to prop up a federal effort to provide universal health coverage.
They argue that the law has “not changed Medicaid's core framework, structure or purpose.” That is, Medicaid would continue to offer coverage to people deemed unable to otherwise afford it; provide federal matching funds; allow states to opt out; and give states flexibility in how to attain minimum requirements.
The lawsuit was brought by 19 state attorneys general, as well as outgoing Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
Judge Roger Vinson last month allowed key parts of the suit to proceed. In addition to taking issue with the role Medicaid, the lawsuit contends Congress overstepped its authority by requiring individuals to buy health insurance. Oral arguments are scheduled for Dec. 16.
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