Chalk up another win for the White House in the growing battle over the constitutionality of the healthcare reform law.
A U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled the law is constitutional.
For those keeping score, that gives the law three wins and one loss at the federal appeals court level.
The ruling should give the Obama administration more confidence that the Supreme Court will uphold the law when it takes on the issue.
Several lawsuits surrounding the constitutionality of the law’s “individual mandate” — which requires individuals to buy health insurance by 2014 or face penalties — are pending at the Supreme Court.
The high court is expected to decide very shortly, which of those lawsuits it’ll take on. It could then issue a ruling as early as June, which would wrap up the debate before the upcoming presidential election.
The pending lawsuits where brought on by more than two dozen states, which claim the federal government overstepped its authority by forcing individuals to buy health insurance.
The Department of Justice has countered that argument by saying the law doesn’t force individuals to participate in a marketplace they are not already in. Because everyone will need medical care at some point, it says individuals already participate in the healthcare market.