Fifth Circuit Rejects Call to Rehear ACA Appeal

February 4, 2020

On January 29, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit announced that it would not revisit its earlier decision in the TX v. US case. That decision was made by a panel of three judges, and could have been reviewed by the entire Court under certain circumstances. In this case one of the appellate court judges made the request to have the entire Court hear the case. However, as a result of this decision, the case will proceed as originally ordered by the appellate court.

As background, on December 18, 2019, the Fifth Circuit ruled that the individual mandate was unconstitutional because Congress declined to exercise its constitutional taxing authority to penalize citizens who did not obtain health insurance. Although the District Court that first heard this case also ruled that the loss of the individual mandate meant that the entire ACA was also unconstitutional, the Fifth Circuit was not convinced. Instead, the appellate court remanded the case back to the District Court to examine that question more closely and provide more detail about what provisions in the ACA would fail and rule on whether other provisions could stand.

On an 8-6 vote, the entire Fifth Circuit decided not to review the case, which means that the case will proceed in a remand to the District Court. Although the defendants in the case asked the Supreme Court to expedite its consideration of this case, the Supreme Court declined to do so.

The ACA is still in force and plan sponsors should continue to comply with the various mandates imposed by the law. We will continue to follow any developments that come from TX v. US.

Fifth Circuit Order »