The American Hospital Association and five other organizations representing hospitals have asked the Supreme Court to resolve the constitutionality of the healthcare reform law, and soon. In a friend-of-the-court brief, the associations argue that the uncertainty surrounding the law is bogging down progress on even its noncontroversial elements.
Late News: Hospital groups ask high court to rule on Affordable Care Act
They also argue that striking down the law would “maintain an unacceptable status quo” of providers, consumers and taxpayers paying to care for the uninsured. Joining the AHA in the brief are the Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association, Federation of American Hospitals, National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems and the National Association of Children's Hospitals. Their members, they argue, are spending substantial resources to meet benchmarks on hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions under the law, not knowing if it will stand.
They also note that officials in many states are waiting to see what the Supreme Court decides before establishing the health insurance exchanges established under the law by Jan. 1, 2014. The hospital groups filed the brief in support of the Obama administration's request for the court to review an August ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta that Congress overstepped its constitutional authority by requiring that individuals buy health insurance. The Supreme Court is expected to decide in November whether to take the case and could rule by the end of the current session this summer.
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