Buoyant about Making History: National Federation of Independent Business' Small Business Legal Center Leader Confident as Key Court Date on Health Care Reform Nears

By Davis, KirLee | THE JOURNAL RECORD, February 23, 2012 | Go to article overview

Buoyant about Making History: National Federation of Independent Business' Small Business Legal Center Leader Confident as Key Court Date on Health Care Reform Nears


Davis, KirLee, THE JOURNAL RECORD


If enthusiasm foretells any outcome, then the National Federation of Independent Business stands poised to win the biggest battle of its history - its legal challenge to Washington's health care reform.

With one month to go before the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the case, NFIB Small Business Legal Center Executive Director Karen Harned briefed a Tulsa audience Thursday on National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the key challenge brought with 26 states.

Noting the chorus of moans that echoed through Washington, D.C., when her office first entered the fray with 13 states, she spoke with excited confidence of how the NFIB added more states as its case won judicial rulings in Florida and Atlanta. The first decision actually used the case to strike down the entire reform package, although the appeals court overturned that element.

Now on appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court, Harned marveled at how they had received five and a half hours over three days to argue their case, which primarily attacks the 2014 mandate requiring Americans to buy health care insurance or face a fine.

Those three days represent more time than the court has given any issue since Brown v. Board of Education almost half a century ago, Harned said with a smile.

"It's a very historic time for our country and for the NFIB," she said.

The action starts March 26 with the NFIB having 90 minutes to defend its right to bring the lawsuit in the first place.

Harned said this reflects an ironic change from the Obama administration, which during debates over the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act had maintained that the fine tied to the insurance mandate was not a tax. …

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