Health Groups, Disease-Specific Organizations File Briefs In Support Of Health Reform Law

Today is the deadline for proponents of the Affordable Care Act to submit their friend-of-the court briefs in Thomas More Law Center v. Obama, a case challenging the constitutionality of the law’s individual mandate. Last year, a U.S. District Court Judge rejected More’s motion for a preliminary injunction against the law, arguing that the mandate fell within the purview of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, since an individuals’ decision not to purchase coverage will “have clear and direct impacts on health care providers, taxpayers, and the insured population who ultimately pay for the care provided to those who go without insurance.”

The case now heads to the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but a comparison of the different groups that have submitted amicus briefs is telling. While health advocacy groups, disease-specific organizations, and health care providers are standing on the side of reform, the anti-reform column is dominated by politicians and conservative think tanks. In fact, supporters of Thomas More’s lawsuit were unable to attract a single health care organization to join in their effort:

Support ACA in Thomas More Challenge Oppose ACA in Thomas More Challenge
– 6 HOSPITAL ASSOCIATIONS: American Hospital Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association of the United States, Federation of American Hospitals, National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions and National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems

– 4 HEALTH GROUPS: American Cancer Society Cancer Action Newtork, Inc., American Diabetes Association, Inc., American Heart Association, Inc. and The American Cancer Society, Inc

– 6 DOCTORS AND NURSES GROUPS: Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Student Association, American Nurses Association, Doctors for America, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Physicians Alliance

– 14 HEALTH GROUPS: American Association of People with Disabilities, The Arc of the United States, Breast Cancer Action, Families USA, Friends of Cancer Research, March of Dimes Foundation, Mental Health America, National Breast Cancer Coalition, National Organization For Rare Disorders, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Senior Citizens Law Center, National Women’s Health Network, National Women’s Law Center, and The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance [Read it]

– 38 ECONOMISTS (3 NOBEL WINNERS): Dr. David Cutler, Dr. Henry Aaron, Dr. George Akerlof, Dr. Dr. Stuart Altman, Dr. Kenneth Arrow, Dr. Susan Athey, Dr. Tal Gross, Dr. Jonathan Gruber, Dr. Jack Hadley, Dr. Vivian Ho, Dr. John F. Holahan, Ph.D, Dr. Jill Horwitz, Dr. Lawrence Katz, Dr. Harold Pollack, Dr. Matthew Rabin, Dr. James B. Rebitzer, Dr. Michael Reich, Dr. Thomas Rice, Dr. Meredith Rosenthal, Dr. Linda J. Blumberg, Dr. Leonard E. Burman, Dr. Amitabh Chandra, Dr. Michael Chernew, Dr. Philip Cook, Dr. Claudia Goldin, Dr. Frank Levy, Dr. Peter Lindert, Dr. Eric Maskin, Dr. Alan C. Monheit, Dr. Marilyn Moon, Dr. Richard J. Murnane, Dr. Len M. Nichols, Dr. Christopher Ruhm, Dr. Jonathan Skinner, Dr. Katherine Swartz, Dr. Kenneth Warner, Dr. Paul N. Van de Water, Dr. Stephen Zuckerman [Read it]

– State of Oregon

– Washington Governor Christine O. Gregoire

– Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid

– 11 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS: Washington Legal Foundation, and Members of Congress Michelle Bachmann, Dan Burton, Mike Conaway, Lynn Jenkins, Dan Lungren, Tom McClintock, Ron Paul, Ted Poe, Cathy McMorris Rogers, Jean Schmidt and Todd Tiahrt. [Read it]

– American Center For Law & Justice [Read it]

– Mountain States Legal Foundation [Read it]

– Cato Institute and Randy E. Barnett [Read it]

– Steven J. Willis [Read it]

Since President Obama signed reform into law in March of 2010, at least 20 cases, involving federal district courts in 15 states, have been filed. More than a dozen have already been dismissed on one ground or another.