Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Another summary

Chamber of Commerce of the United States:

The Chamber makes the following arguments in its amicus brief in support of neither party. First, the Chamber argues that “if the minimum coverage mandate is held to exceed Congress’s constitutional powers, health insurance reform provisions in the PPACA should also be invalidated as non-severable from the mandate.” According to the Chamber, the district court’s severability analysis “is fundamentally flawed,” and “a proper approach to severability compels the conclusion that the PPACA’s guaranteed-issue and community-rating provisions are non-severable from the individual mandate.” Furthermore, “health insurance reforms beyond the guaranteed-issue and community-rating provisions are similarly intertwined with the individual mandate for severability purposes.” For instance, the Chamber contends that the Act’s risk-adjustment mechanism “would not function properly without the individual mandate and the associated community-rating and guaranteed-issue reforms.” Thus, “if the mandate, guaranteed-issue, and community-rating provisions were invalidated and the risk adjustment mechanism remained, gross inefficiencies in the health insurance markets would exist, allowing insurers to pass off to others the consequences of flawed underwriting and poor management of health care costs.” Similarly, the Chamber contends that the Act’s bar on annual limits for benefits and its medical loss ratio provision are non-severable.

Second, the Chamber argues that “if this court affirms the invalidation of the individual mandate but does not invalidate the entire Act, it should remand to the district court to conduct a proper severability analysis in the first instance.”