The House of Representatives last night authorized its general counsel to intervene to defend the Affordable Care Act in a federal court case in Texas, and in any other cases involving the ACA. The provision was included in a resolution adopting rules for the chamber in the new Congress, which passed by a vote of 235-192. On Dec. 14, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor ruled the entire ACA unconstitutional because Congress repealed the tax penalty enforcing the law's individual mandate. Seventeen attorneys general then appealed the ruling. O'Connor has said the law can stand while his ruling is appealed. In a friend-of-court brief filed last year, AHA and other national organizations representing hospitals and health systems urged the district court not to accept the plaintiff’s severability argument. For more on the case, see the recent AHA Special Bulletin for members.
 

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