A federal judge on Tuesday declined [order] to issue a preliminary injunction against the insurance subsidies provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [text; JURIST backgrounder]. Judge Paul Friedman for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] held that the lawsuit could proceed and that he would rule on the merits by mid-February. With the rejection of the preliminary injunction, Friedman also rejected [order] the Obama administration's motion to dismiss on claims that the complaint was speculative. The subsidies are available to people who meet certain requirements in form of tax credits. Plaintiffs, comprising out of individuals and businesses, alleged that the subsidies are unlawful by compelling them to purchase insurance or otherwise be subject to fines.
The PPACA has been subject to various challenges. Earlier this week Hobby Lobby filed a brief [JURIST report] urging the US Supreme Court to review its case regarding the constitutionality of the PPACA birth-control mandate. In July the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] upheld [JURIST report] Congress' authority to require larger employers to provide adequate health insurance for their employees or pay a fine. Liberty University had brought the challenge and the US Supreme Court remanded [JURIST report] the case to the Fourth Circuit that in turn determined that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim on which relief could be granted. In June 2012 the Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report] that the PPACA does not violate the constitution in a case that focused on the "individual mandate" provision of the act, which requires every person, with some exceptions for religious and other reasons, to purchase some form of health insurance by January 1, 2014, or be subject to a fee equal to either a percent of that individual's income or flat rate of $695.