The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled today, in Sissel v. HHS, that the origination clause does not prevent Congress from lawfully designing the ACA to expand health insurance coverage and, incidentally (after NFIB v. Sebelius) also raise tax revenue. Quoting here:
The purposive approach embodied in Supreme Court
precedent necessarily leads to the conclusion that Section 5000A
of the Affordable Care Act is not a “Bill for raising Revenue”
under the Origination Clause. The Supreme Court’s repeated
focus on the statutory provision’s “object,” Nebeker, 167 U.S.
at 203, and “primary purpose,” Munoz-Flores, 495 U.S. at 399,
makes clear, contrary to Sissel’s position, that the purpose of a
bill is critical to the Origination Clause inquiry. And after the
Supreme Court’s decision in NFIB, it is beyond dispute that the
paramount aim of the Affordable Care Act is “to increase the
number of Americans covered by health insurance and decrease
the cost of health care,” NFIB, 132 S. Ct. at 2580, not to raise
revenue by means of the shared responsibility payment. The
Supreme Court explained: “Although the [Section 5000A]
payment will raise considerable revenue, it is plainly designed
to expand health insurance coverage.” Id. at 2596 (emphasis
added); see id. at 2596–97.
I am glad the court has apparently nailed down the paramount aim of the ACA for the origination clause's purposiveness analysis. I can't help but wonder if this analysis might not be relevant in other ACA-related litigation.