Michigan Chamber Files an Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court Case Challenging Federal Health Care Act

February 14, 2012

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce on Monday, February 13th, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The brief, filed along with 14 other state chambers and business organizations, requests that the constitutionality of the act be decided quickly to relieve the uncertainties created by the new law for job providers and individuals.

“Due to a number of different challenges—including one on the constitutionality of Obamacare—job providers do not have a clear understanding of what is required of them now and in the future regarding this law, as well as what it will cost them,” said Wendy Block, Director of Health Policy and Human Resources for the Michigan Chamber. “Job providers are held hostage by the uncertainty created by this law.

“A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court will provide the clarity needed to allow job providers to plan and move forward,” added Block. 

There are two primary arguments in the amicus brief. Despite assertions to the contrary, the U.S. Anti-Injunction Act does not bar the Supreme Court from ruling on the constitutionality of the individual insurance mandate at the center of the health care law. The second addresses the concern that delaying ruling will create a costly and harmful burden on American business.

“The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has a long tradition of supporting health care policies based upon free market solutions and strenuously rejecting the government interference in purchasing and benefit design decisions contained in Obamacare,” said Jim Holcomb, Senior Vice President of Business Advocacy & Associate General Counsel for the Michigan Chamber. “This type of government overreach is just unacceptable.” 

Co-signers on the brief include: Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, Florida Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, State Chamber of Oklahoma, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Texas Association of Business, Association of Washington Business and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. 

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments March 26-28 in the case, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al v. the State of Florida, et al.