U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The U.S. Supreme Court has not said if it will hear a multistate challenge to President Barack Obama's federal health care law. " />

U.S. SC makes no decision on Obamacare appeal

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The U.S. Supreme Court has not said if it will hear a multistate challenge to President Barack Obama's federal health care law.

The Court met in private Thursday to consider new cases to be heard next year, according to The Associated Press. Among them is the Obamacare appeal.

Fourteen states, later joined by 12 others, filed a challenge to the law in March 2010.

The 26 states contend that the reform's individual mandate requiring that all Americans purchase health insurance or face a $695 penalty every year is unconstitutional. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit agreed.

The states filed a petition in September to have their challenge heard immediately by the nation's high court. They're appealing the 11th Circuit's decision not to determine the mandate is essential to the entire law, which would void the entire legislation.

There was nothing on the Court's website indicating a decision had been made, much less talked about.

However, an announcement could come on Monday, following the Veteran's Day holiday, according to the AP.

If accepted, the Court could hear oral arguments in March, the AP said.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the law's mandate provision.

Judge Laurence Silberman wrote for the majority in the split decision.

"... (T)he Affordable Care Act sought to reform our nation's health insurance and health care delivery markets with the aims of improving access to those markets and reducing health care costs and uncompensated care.

"The right to be free from federal regulation is not absolute, and yields to the imperative that Congress be free to forge national solutions to national problems, no matter how local-or seemingly passive-their individual origins."

Judge Brett Kavanaugh dissented, writing that the appeals court lacked jurisdiction.

Both judges believe the issue will be decided by the Supreme Court.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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