SURVEY SAYS: Should the Supreme Court Have Accelerated its Review of the PPACA?

April 28, 2011 ( - This week the U.S. Supreme Court refused to bypass the lower courts and take up a challenge to the constitutionality of the national health care reform law.   

Setting aside the legal precedents for doing so, and/or the sufficiency of the challenge, this week I asked readers if they thought the Supreme Court should have accelerated the review, or was it better to just let the “normal” process take its course – and what, if any, impact they thought the Supreme Court’s decision would have on the ultimate fate of the legislation? 

Well, since the Supreme Court already made its decision (see High Court Denies Expedited Review of Health Care Law), let’s start with what readers think it means for the ultimate fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  More than a quarter (28.1%) thought it would benefit the legislation in the long run, while just 3.1% thought it would serve to undermine the PPACA.

A plurality – 38.5% – didn’t think it would make much difference in the long run.  However, nearly a third said they either weren’t willing or able to hazard a guess either way.

So, what did readers think about the decision?


Well, nearly half (49%) thought that the normal appellate process/review was appropriate – and, as you’ll read in the verbatims, it wasn’t just those who thought the PPACA would pass constitutional muster.

However a full third (33.7%) felt the Supreme Court should have taken up the issue now – for reasons that are also well-articulated in the verbatim comments.

About 7.1% said they weren’t sure – while a full one-in-ten (10.2%) said they “really hadn’t given it any thought.”

Now, as for those verbatims….


I think the Court is being a bit chicken about this controversial issue!

Since the retirement world in my expertise, and not benefits, my heart goes out to those hwo have to deal with this on a daily basis. To me it is a mind-numbing illustration of the problems with our government. It's always "hurry up and wait". This whole thing makes ADP/ACP testing as entertaining as the Super Bowl!

Obama "passed" this legislation illegally and shoved it down American's throats.  This is a capitalist country and he is doing all he can to socialize and communize the USA.  This law MUST be repealed

Since this WILL get to the Supreme Court eventually I think they should have bypassed the appellate courts.

I agree with the decision.  The high court shouldn't let itself be used in this hyper-partisan shouting match.  The accelerated process is appropriate for life-or-death decisions; this issue should wind its way upward in the same was as any other suit.  Let the system bring PPA into the sunshine to expose both its accomplishments and flaws.

It is shocking that anyone could believe PPACA will "save money"

The Supreme Court's refusal to hear the case means its resolution will take longer, cost lots more taxpayer money, but hopefully, end in the same place - that it's against the Constitution to make individuals purchase a product.  This government is just completely out of control!

It seems like a minor skirmish in the fight.  If I were the Supremes, I'd have done the same thing.  Let the appellate courts register their opinions, then weigh the conclusions. 

As time passes and more of the mandates phase in, the PPACA will be much hard to undo, so it probably will stay in effect by "inaction".  Everyone will eventually get used to and accept it.

I think that perhaps with all of the "stuff" going on regarding the health care reform, SCOTUS is wisely waiting for the lower courts to sort out their decisions before stepping in.  I do hope this results in overturning the law, but I'd rather it be a clearly followed process so that there's no chance of only part of the law being overturned.

We need health care to be separated from the workplace.  The baby boomers will get out of the work force in such numbers that the workplace will not be able to afford to provide coverage.  The boomers have always been directing the large changes happening in the world.  They will get what they want:  full and easy to use health care coverage.  It's a wave that we can control around the edges, but can't stop.

Oh, the comments from this one should be fun!!  I believe expediting the review is best...this is one of the most significant pieces of law in recent history...let's move it along so we have the final decision soon, minimizing time, money, consulting fees and benefits managers' angst.

I think in this case everyone would like to get an answer but if there is a process then it should be followed.

Considering the negative impact of this legislation on the national economy and citizens of this country, the Supreme Court should get off their high horse and put this as a top priority!  Frankly, I think they are afraid to deal with it and are deliberately delaying their review.  The longer it stays in the lower courts, the more time will pass and it will go into effect in full force when it will be too late for this country to pull out of it!  Heaven help us all (because our government and legislators aren't)!

The longer this issue is left in limbo, coupled with continued economic concerns over the national debt, is more likely to increase public sentiment that it went too far and result in a voter referendum in 2012 for modification or repeal.


The longer it goes on, the harder it will be to undo, as people get used to the benefits they are receiving on account of the law and become unwilling to give them up, even for a cost savings.

The Supreme Court should hear this case as quickly as practicable.  So much is riding on this decision; and the expectation is that the Supreme Court will ultimately get the case. It seems almost irresponsible to allow it to occupy the energies of the appellate processes, not to mention the political resources being utilized daily to attack, repeal and defund it piecemeal.

There was no way the Supremes were accelerating review...never touch the third rail!

Just continues to confirm my suspicions all along...the "Act" is all about politics and has nothing to do with reform, patient protection or affordable health care.  All of which is depressing, since our only resulting hope for any of these initiatives is market forces.

When the system works correctly, the different branches of government are supposed to be a checks and balances system over each other.  The executive branch (read Mr. President) and the Congress have been colluding in a highly political process that isn't necessarily in the country's best interests.  In a single simple decline for accelerated review, the Supremes said that they are not playing politics.  There is an appropriate appeals process and this will go through the appropriate appeals process.  That gives me great confidence that the RIGHT decision will eventually be made, rather than a POLITICAL one.  CHEERS to the Supreme Court for being the only branch of the Federal Government who are actually doing their jobs the way they are supposed to.


I hate the law the way it is written but we have a structured legal system for a reason and it is appropriate for the courts to allow it to progress through the normal legal process.

I think this is a terrible political game that is being played with companies, states and individuals.  This indecisive situation creates planning problems and more division.  This is a terrible law overall with a few good features.  It did very little to affect the price of health care and created more mandates that place more cost pressure on employers' plans.  It was not thought out and, oh well, we have heard it all before.  The unfortunate aspect for me is the tremendous feeling of powerlessness.  I get a small glimpse of what it must be like to live in a totalitarian regime.  I wouldn't do very well at all.

Unlike the current administration I believe in following the long established rules (i.e. permit the normal appellate process to take place) in these matters.   However, I do believe that following the "rules" will unfortunately benefit the unconstitutional PPACA.  Because the bureaucrats are busy, busy, busy cranking out the endless rules, regulations, red-tape, etc...for the administration of this mess possibly creating an argument of "well we can't turn back now, look the "bureaucracy" is already in place."

The Supreme Court decision should not have any impact on health care reform if the Justices adhere to the Court's precedents, and the principles revealed by their own prior decisions, in which case, the Court will uphold PPACA's constitutionality.

Personally, I think the SC is as out of touch with the US population and our needs as Congress, and their decision to here proves this.  Unfortunately, even had they taken on the case, their decisions in recent years seem more personal &/or political than legal/moral which is what the constitution calls for.


Absent exigent circumstances (like a time of war) SCOTUS should NEVER be concerned with Politics, The Public or the impact that a law may (or may not) have.  Their sole function is the determination of the Constitutionality of a law based on their collective determination after debating the issue in light of the application of the Constitution.  To do ANY differently would be to allow Politics, personal prejudices or The Public to sway their judgement which is supposed to be impartial.

These were my favorites:

Why should the Supreme Court review on this matter?  Congress flip-flops on health care more than a fish out of water.

By not taking it (PPACA) on, the SC merely extended the dream of every Don Quixote hoping to stage a glorious charge with the light brigade.

Honey, where'd that elephant come from and why is it in the middle of the room.

But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who noted, “If it's legal there is a lot of work to get done, if it's not we are wasting a lot of time/money getting ready for it.”

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!