Appeals court rejects doctor's lawsuit against health reform law

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 15, 2011

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A U.S. appeals court has blocked a challenge by a New Jersey physician and one of his patients against the health system reform law.

Cardiologist Mario A. Criscito, MD, and a patient sued the government in 2010, alleging that the reform law, particularly the individual insurance mandate, violated their Fifth Amendment rights. The individual mandate requires citizens to obtain health insurance coverage by 2014 or face a penalty. Dr. Criscito argued in court documents that the mandate "will have a direct, substantial impact" on his practice and the manner in which he seeks payment for his services.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 3 that the doctor and patient failed to show how they would be "imminently" harmed by the law. The appeals court upheld a lower court's decision denying the suit from moving forward.

Dr. Criscito's lawsuit is one of more than a dozen across the country challenging the health reform law. Most have been dismissed. Judges in Florida and Virginia have ruled the law, or portions of it, unconstitutional.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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