Health Care Challenge Doesn't Make the Cut

     (CN) - Former California legislator Steve Baldwin and a right-wing legal group lack standing to challenge health care reform, the 9th Circuit ruled Friday, the same day that the 11th Circuit said the law was unconstitutional.
     Baldwin and the Pacific Justice Institute brought the first challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act after President Barack Obama signed it into law in March 2010.
     U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego quickly dismissed the case for lack of standing on Aug. 27. Though she dismissed the case with leave to amend, meaning a final judgment had not been entered, Baldwin and the institute filed appeals with both the 9th Circuit and the Supreme Court.
     The Supreme Court refused to take up the case at that early stage in November, and they also shot down a similar attempt by the attorney general of Virginia this past April.
     On Friday, the 9th Circuit said it had jurisdiction to hear the case, which is still pending before Sabraw, because the trial court also denied a motion for a preliminary injunction in the case.
     Baldwin and the Institute had challenged a provision of the new health care law that requires everyone to have health insurance by 2014.
     Like this case, most lawsuits over the law have been dismissed for lack of standing. Two federal judges have found the law is unconstitutional, but three others upheld the law. Appeals are pending in circuit courts across the country.
     The same day that the Pasadena, Calif.-based panel ruled that Baldwin and the institute lacked standing, a panel of the 11th Circuit said the law was unconstitutional. In June, however, the 6th Circuit, said the law was constitutional.
     Experts do not expect resolution on the issue until the Supreme Court rules on one of these cases.