WASHINGTON -- The healthcare reform law is more likely than ever to end up in the Supreme Court -- and fairly soon -- because the Obama administration deliberately missed an important deadline on Monday for a lower court to rehear a case against the law.
Monday was the last day for the administration to request that the full 11-judge panel of the U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit review an August decision by an 11th Circuit three-judge panel that found the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional.
The individual mandate, considered the linchpin of the law, requires everyone to have health insurance by 2014.
But by 5:00 p.m. Monday, the administration had not filed the necessary papers for the "en banc" hearing. So the court's decision against the ACA stands, and the administration is now expected to ask the Supreme Court to overturn it, and in doing so, uphold the law.
The administration has until November to ask the Supreme Court to hear the case.