November 30, 2010

Ohio health care reform challenge moving ahead

From a district court in Ohio, which granted all of the federal government's motion to dismiss a lawsuit against the health care reform act except for as it relates to the Commerce Clause question:
The defendants' [Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, et al] motion to dismiss contends that the individual mandate requiring the purchase of health insurance as set forth in Section 1501 under the title of "Requirement to Maintain Minimum Essential Coverage" is a proper congressional exercise under the Commerce Clause. Secondly, the defendants contend that the passage of Section 1501 of the Act is a valid exercise of Congress's independent power under the general welfare clause. Defendants argue that Count 1 of plaintiffs' second amended complaint* should be dismissed pursuant to 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for failure to state a claim upon which relief can granted based on the recent teachings of the Supreme Court of the United States in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, (2007) and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009).

At this stage of the proceedings, when considering the defendants' motion to dismiss, the issues before the Court regarding the commerce and the necessary and proper clauses constitute the primary issues before the Court with respect to the validity of the challenged Act. The Court finds that the allegations advanced by plaintiffs in Count One of the second amended complaint at this point pass the "plausibility" teachings of Twombly and Iqbal, supra.

It is the Court's view in this case that plaintiffs' Commerce Clause claim is not subject to a final resolution based on a motion to dismiss, but requires additional consideration by the Court in further proceedings.
U.S. Citizens Assoc. v. Sebelius (.pdf; 12 pgs.)

* "Specifically, plaintiffs claim that the Act violates the Commerce Clause in Article I of the United States Constitution."

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