Government seeks to dismiss Sissel's challenge to health care mandate


Author: Luke A. Wake

Today the Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss Matt Sissel's challenge to the new federal mandate that he must purchase health insurance under threat of a financial penalty. The motion to dismiss asserts that Matt lacks standing to raise his challenge, and that his claim is also unripe, and barred by the Anti-Injunction Act. On the merits, the government asserts that it has broad power to regulate economic decisions, and that the mandate should be upheld because it is essential to Congress's broad economic goals. In addition to asserting that the mandate is a proper exercise of the commerce power, the government contends that it is a constitutional tax.

These arguments are essentially identical to those federal courts have already rejected in suits brought by the Common Wealth of Virginia, and the other states challenging the individual mandate. Those cases will be decided in the coming months on summary judgement, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act may ultimately be struck down as unconstitutional.

Notwithstanding those cases, the government relied heavily on the one opinion dismissing a health care challenge on the merits. But, ultimately, we expect that all of these cases will be resolved in the Supreme Court.