Originally published in Law 360 on March 23, 2012
Law360, New York (March 23, 2012, 1:12 PM ET) -- By the end of March 2012, the United States Supreme Court will have heard three rounds of oral argument on the constitutional challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The issues before the court are:
• The constitutionality of the individual mandate, which requires the vast majority of those not yet eligible for Medicare to purchase insurance or pay a tax penalty.
• If the individual mandate is found to be unconstitutional, whether other provisions of PPACA are also struck down.
• Whether the individual mandate challenge should be decided prior to the imposition of the penalty on a noncomplying individual. Under the Anti-Injunction Act, lawsuits to enjoin the imposition of a tax are prohibited. In prior cases, the Supreme Court held that the Anti-Injunction Act applies to tax penalties as well as taxes.
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