In a special motion, the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons today requested the right to intervene in the ObamaCare cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as ObamaCare, has an enormous impact on physicians and patients. AAPS has moved the High Court to be a direct participant in this historic proceeding.
AAPS filed its motion Wednesday, Dec 7. This is in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s upcoming conference on Dec 9, its last conference in 2011.The other major physician organizations are absent at this most critical moment. The American Medical Association has been nowhere to be found in this proceeding that will decide the fate of medicine. State medical societies have also been silent in this proceeding.
AAPS’s request to intervene seeks to ensure that the last-minute ploy of recharacterizing the ObamaCare penalty for not buying health insurance as a tax does not prevail. When Democratic legislators railroaded ObamaCare through Congress in March 2010, they insisted that it did not impose a tax. Indeed, some of the ObamaCare supporters had promised the American people that they would not support a tax increase. Throughout the litigation, the Obama Administration has likewise been adamant that its law does not impose taxes.
But at the 11th hour, a new argument has been raised asserting that the penalty in ObamaCare is somehow a tax, and that therefore the Court lacks the power to review it. The Anti-Injunction Act, 26 U.S.C. §7421(a), limits the power of federal courts to consider challenges to taxes.
AAPS, on behalf of physicians, seeks to end that argument by pointing out that ObamaCare is harming medical practices and patients already, regardless of the label on its penalty. AAPS clearly has legal standing to challenge ObamaCare because AAPS’s physician members suffer injuries now, and (unlike the States) AAPS physicians do not have any remedy later to recoup their losses if ObamaCare is invalidated years in the future.
AAPS has thus moved to intervene to ensure that ObamaCare is not upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court based on a technicality and semantics. A decision by the High Court on AAPS's motion may come as soon as Monday, Dec 12.
The motion is posted at http://bit.ly/aaps-hhs-fl.