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Supreme Court declines to expedite Virginia lawsuit on health reform Posted: April 25th, 2011

By Maryalene LaPonsie

In March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) went into effect. Billed as a comprehensive reform of the health care system, the new law's requires, among other things, that every man, woman and child establish and maintain health insurance coverage by 2014. However, more than a dozen state attorney generals responded by suing the federal government citing unfunded mandates and questions about the law's constitutionality.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to expedite the state's lawsuit regarding the matter. In a statement, he said, "We asked the United States Supreme Court for expedited review of our lawsuit because Virginia and other states are already spending huge sums to implement their portions of the health care act. Businesses are already making decisions about whether to cut or keep employee health plans, and citizens are in limbo until the Supreme Court rules."

Virginia's request asked that the high court to expedite the case, allowingthe case to skip the normal appeals process and be fast-tracked to a hearing before the Supreme Court. Although it is widely expected that the issues surrounding the PPACA's legality will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, the justices declined to expedite the Virginia case. Instead, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments on May 10.