Healthcare News first published this article How to Spell Health Care Without Reform on January 8, 2019.
The Federal Bench
There are more than 850 justices and judges (excluding magistrates and administrative law judges) in the United States federal court system, spread out over 94 judicial districts, 13 appellate courts and one Supreme Court. In 2017, there were 274,547 cases filed in the District Court, 295,956 cases terminated, while another 338,013 cases remained. For the same time period in the U.S. Court of Appeals, 49,816 cases commenced, 53,756 terminated, yet still 38,876 remained.
Any dispute involving (1) the United States government, (2) the U.S. Constitution or a federal law, or (3) a controversy between states or between the U.S. government and any foreign government, falls under the jurisdiction of the federal court system. Additionally, 30,000 more judges oversee another 90 million state court lawsuits filed each year in America’s 50 states and 3 districts (District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico).
Federal and state courts share the burden in resolving domestic health care disputes, although the federal system bears the heavier load when it comes to Medicare and the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare.” Still, it is neither plausible nor prudent for less than 0.12 percent of the federal judiciary to effectively “veto” a system so important as health care. In 2017, approximately 294.6 million Americans had health insurance coverage to rest in one of the 894,575 beds in any of the 5,534 United States hospitals, or see one of 953,000 actively licensed allopathic and osteopathic physicians, still leaving room for the other 31 million people in the United States without health insurance. While the ACA qualifies as landmark legislation, historical hindsight may someday place health care reform’s success in its first decade on par with President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. … Read more →