Skip to main content

Analysis

Fifth Circuit Hits Pause on ACA Lawsuit Over Government Shutdown

By Steven Porter  
   January 11, 2019

At the urging of the Trump administration, an appellate judge put legal wrangling over the Obama-era law's constitutionality on hold until the partial government shutdown ends.

The appeals process to review a ruling that declared the entire Affordable Care Act invalid will have to wait until attorneys for the federal government have funding to proceed.

Fifth Circuit Court Judge Leslie H. Southwick issued a stay in the case Friday, granting a request filed earlier in the week by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The pause comes three weeks into a partial government shutdown that's poised to become this weekend the longest in U.S. history, as President Donald Trump insists that Congress authorize $5.7 billion for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and Democrats refuse to do so.

Related: AHA's Rick Pollack Sees Full Agenda for Year Ahead

Related: Federal Shutdown Mostly Spares Health Coverage, But Other Issues Loom

Related: States Appeal ACA Ruling to Fifth Circuit

While most of the federal government was funded by earlier legislation, this shutdown affects about 800,000 federal workers and inhibits the work of several agencies that handle health-related tasks.

Both the plaintiffs and federal defendants agreed that a stay would be appropriate. But the California-led coalition of Democratic state attorneys general challenging the lower court's decision and the U.S. House of Representatives—which, newly under Democratic control, is seeking to intervene in the case to defend the ACA—opposed the stay request.

ACA Lawsuit Put on Hold Ove... by on Scribd

Steven Porter is an associate content manager and Strategy editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

Tagged Under:


Get the latest on healthcare leadership in your inbox.