PA Chamber Files Brief Challenging Health Care Act

Member Group : PA Chamber of Business and Industry

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2011

PA Chamber files brief in U.S. Supreme Court case challenging federal health-care act

HARRISBURG, PA – The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry joined 14 other state chambers and business organizations from across the nation in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

"With so much uncertainty facing employers and their employees with regard to the implementation of the federal health-care law, it is absolutely necessary that the court rules on constitutionality as soon as possible," PA Chamber President Gene Barr said. "The amicus brief filed by the Pennsylvania Chamber and other similar organizations asks the court to do just that."

The U.S. 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. The law is scheduled to be fully implemented by 2014, unless overturned.

Barr said lingering questions about whether the law itself or some of its provisions – the individual insurance mandate in particular – are constitutional is adding to the confusion confronting employers about what will be required of them and what it will cost.

According to the PA Chamber’s 2011 Pennsylvania Economic Survey, 88 percent of employers surveyed reported being "somewhat" or "not at all" familiar with the provisions of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Additionally, a majority (55 percent) listed controlling health-care costs as a top legislative priority, marking the third consecutive year that more than 50 percent of employers reported the need to address rising health-care insurance costs as a top priority.

"Until the issue of constitutionality is decided and employers have a clear picture of the health-care landscape, they may be reluctant to add to their workforce," he said. "The last thing our economy needs is another reason for private-sector employers to hold off on making hiring decisions, in this case because of ongoing questions over a major government policy change."



The amicus brief contains two primary arguments. First, that despite arguments 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 federal health-care law; and, second, that delaying a ruling will create a costly and harmful burden on American business.


The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state’s largest broad-based business advocacy organization, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of Business™.