Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is revenue-raising legislation which purports to improve health care throughout the sovereign states of United States of America. Immediately after enactment of the PPACA, companion revenue-raising legislation known as the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 was enacted and modified the PPACA.

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Legislative History

Public Law 111-148 (Pub. L. 111-148) is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The PPACA began its legislative life on 17-Sep-2009 when H.R. 3590, the “Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009,” was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Charles B. Rangel, a member of the Democratic Party from the State of New York. The House passed H.R. 3590 on 8-Oct-2009 and transmitted the bill to the Senate, which, through traditional Senate amendment processes, modified the title of the bill and replaced virtually all of its original text. The Senate passed H.R. 3590 on 24-Dec-2009, with all sixty (60) members of the Democratic Party voting in favor of passage and all forty (40) members of the Republican Party voting against passage. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a member of the Democratic Party, held the bill for three months while attempting to garner sufficient votes for passage. On Sunday, 21-Mar-2010, the House passed H.R. 3590, with 219 members of the Democratic Party voting in favor of passage and a bi-partisan group of 212 elected representatives voting against passage. The enrolled edition of H.R. 3590, which was signed by President Obama on 23-Mar-2010, is archived.

Public Law 111-152 (Pub. L. 111-152) is the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA). The HCERA began its legislative life of 17-Mar-2010 when H.R. 4872 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. John M. Spratt, Jr., a member of the Democratic Party from the State of South Carolina. The House passed H.R. 4872 on 21-Mar-2010 – the same day on which the House passed the Senate-amended version of H.R. 3590 – with 220 members of the Democratic Party voting in favor of passage and a bi-partisan group of 212 elected representatives voting against passage. On 25-Mar-2010, the Senate passed an amended version of H.R. 4872, with 56 members of the Democratic Party voting in favor of passage and a bi-partisan group of 43 elected representatives voting against passage. The amended bill was then returned to the House, where it passed with 220 Democratic Party members voting in favor and a bi-partisan group of 207 voting in opposition. The enrolled edition of H.R. 4872, which was signed by President Obama on 30-Mar-2010, is archived.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a summary of H.R. 3590 but did not publish a similar summary for H.R. 4872; therefore, understanding the ramifications of the pair of Acts is a notably daunting task which involves statement-by-statement analysis of existing statutes as modified by both H.R. 3590 and H.R. 4872.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published a series of reports and issued a series of explanatory memoranda which, when considered together, purport to predict the cost of the pair of Acts.

Administrative History

The Department of the Treasury, and its Internal Revenue Service, have enforcement responsibilities related to the PPACA. Reports regarding enforcement activities began almost immediately following enactment of the legislation.

Judicial History

At the time the PPACA was signed, the Attorneys General of eighteen (18) states (AL, AK, CO, FL, HI, ID, IN, MI, NE, ND, PA, SC, SD, TX, UT, VA, WA, and WI) were members of the Republican political party and the Governors of twenty-four (24) states (AL, AK, AR, AZ, CA, CT, FL, GA, HI, ID, IN, LA, MN, MI, NE, NV, NJ, ND, RI, SC, SD, TX, VT, and VA) were members of the Republican Party. One state (VA) having both a Republican Governor and Republican Attorney General also had a fully-enacted state law which purported to preclude a federal mandate requiring an individual to purchase health insurance: given the novelty of its state law, the Commonwealth of Virginia filed its own, independent civil suit alleging defect in the PPACA, leaving seventeen (17) states with Republican Attorneys General and twenty-three (23) states with Republican Governors.

Twelve (AL, CO, FL, ID, MI, NE, PA, SC, SD, TX, UT, WA) of the seventeen (17) non-Virginia states having Republican Attorneys General, along with one (LA) of the twenty-three (23) non-Virginia states having a Republican Governor, joined together as thirteen (13) Plaintiffs, with the Attorney General of the State of Florida, the nation’s fourth most populated state, leading the group.

During the weeks following the filing of the lawsuit in Florida, the elected officials in numerous states debated regarding the proper response to PPACA enactment. Such debate is reflected in archived State Status and News. By 06-Apr-2010, four additional states (IN, AZ, ND, and NV) had announced intentions to join or initiate civil litigation opposing the PPACA. In one additional state (MS), elected leaders initiated a class action suit featuring the entire population of the state as the Plaintiff class.

Known civil suits include the following:

  • Sollars v. Reid et al.. Immediately after the Senate voted in favor of H.R. 3590, a pro se Plaintiff filed suit in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, alleging misconduct by several Senators. Upon motion by the Plaintiff, the civil suit was dismissed without prejudice on 02-Apr-2010.
  • Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Dept. of HHS. Prior to enactment of the PPACA, a non-partisan group made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents supporting claims made by President Obama and members of his administration. When no response was received, the group filed suit in federal court. The case is active in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia.
  • Virginia v. Sebelius. Moments after the PPACA was signed by President Obama, the Commonwealth of Virginia initiated a civil suit against Kathleen Sebelius in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The case is active.
  • Florida et al. v. Dept. of HHS et al.. A group of twelve states, led by the State of Florida, filed their suit in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Florida. Additional states have joined the litigation since its inception. The case is active.
  • Liberty University, Inc. et al. v. Geithner et al.. Liberty University, a non-profit organization, has also filed suit against Geithner and Sebelius in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Virginia. The case is active.
  • Association of American Physicians & Surgeons v. Sebelius et al.. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a non-profit organization of 2,300 physicians, has also filed suit against Sebelius and others in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia. The case is active.
  • New Jersey Physicians, Inc. et al. v. Obama et al.. A non-profit organization representing physicians and surgeons has filed suit against various federal officers in the Federal District Court for the State of New Jersey. The case is active.
  • Walters et al. v. Holder et al.. Three residents of the State of Mississippi, represented by a Mississippi elected official, has filed suit against various federal officers in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The case is active.
  • Thomas Moore Law Center et al. v. President et al.. A non-profit group, strongly opposed to abortion, has filed suit against the President of the United States and his administration. The case is active in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
  • Calvey et al. v. Obama et al.. A group of Oklahoma citizens, led by elected officials, has filed suit against the President of the United States and his administration. The case is active in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.
  • Shreeve v. Obama et al.. A Tennessee legislator, also an attorney, has filed suit against Barack Obama (President), Harry Reid (Senator), and Nancy Pelosi (U.S. Representative). Among other things, the suit charges abuse of power and violation of oath of office. The case is active in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
  • U.S. Citizens Association et al. v. Obama et al.. A private group, U.S. Citizens Association, filed suit against President Obama and members of his administration, alleging that the PPACA violates the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 9th Amendments by forcing citizens to divulge confidential information to private insurers. The case is active in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
Case Status Summary
Case PACER Link Circuit Activity Awaiting
Sollars v. Reid et al. IN-ND 07 2010-04-01 nothing - closed
Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Dept. of HHS DC-DC 04 2010-07-15 nothing - closed
Virginia v. Sebelius VA-ED 04 2010-05-24 Trial on Merits
Florida et al. v. Dept. of HHS et al. FL-ND 11 2010-05-26 Answer to Complaint
Liberty University, Inc. et al. v. Geithner et al. VA-WD 04 2010-04-22 Reply to Motion
Association of American Physicians & Surgeons v. Sebelius et al. DC-DC 04 2010-05-10 Answer to Complaint
Walters et al. v. Holder et al. MS-SD 05 2010-04-15 Answer to Complaint
New Jersey Physicians, Inc. et al. v. Obama et al. NJ-DC 03 2010-05-17 Answer to Complaint
Thomas Moore Law Center et al. v. President et al. MI-ED 06 2010-05-25 Reply to Motion
Calvey et al. v. Obama et al. OK-WD 10 2010-04-13 Answer to Complaint
Shreeve v. Obama et al. TN-ED 06 2010-04-08 Answer to Complaint
U.S. Citizens Association et al. v. Obama et al. OH-ND 2010-05-12 Answer to Complaint
Kinder et al. v. Dept. of Treasury et al. MO-ED 2010-08-08 Answer to Complaint
Sissel v. Sebelius et al. DC-DC 2010-07-23 Answer to Complaint
Coons et al. v. Geithner et al. AZ-DC 2010-08-12 Answer to Complaint