Judge declares jurisdiction over 'Texas Spine and Joint' lawsuit
POSTED: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 5:41pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 24, 2011 - 1:09pm
Grassroots America also weighs in on the decision
TYLER - It's a battle that's been waged since June of last year when Texas Spine and Joint Hospital along with the Physician Hospitals of America filed suit against the federal government.
It's over restrictions on physician-owned hospitals, prohibiting them from being able to expand, invest in new technology, and keep up to date with patient care.
Hospital leaders believe the restrictions are unconstitutional.
In September, Spine and Joint's case hit a snag when the government argued U.S. District Judge Michael Schneider doesn't have jurisdiction over the case.
But in a ruling last Friday, Schneider's court ruled - yes they do.
"What we're waiting [on] now is for the next ruling of the court to consider both the Florida case that is going on as well as [a motion] that the plaintiffs have made [noting] to the court that there is a court ruling in Florida that basically is saying the act enacted is unconstitutional right now," said attorney for Spine and Joint, Lindsey Birdsong.
Grassroots America also weighed in on Friday's decision, issuing this statement:
"We are most pleased with US District Judge Michael Schneider's ruling that his court has jurisdiction over TX Spine and Joint Hospital's case against the federal health care law. The Justice Department's argument that the Hospital must present its case to the federal Department of Health and Human Services and "exhaust all administrative remedies with the agency before proceeding to trial" just proves once again how focused the federal government is on building central power over health care decisions rather than reducing the cost of health care and making it more accessible to American citizens. The TX Spine and Joint Hospital wants to move forward on its expansion plans as a physician-owned hospital. The federal gov't has no Constitutional authority to prohibit those expansion plans, and we fully support the TX Spine and Joint Hospital's legal action. We wish them well."
JoAnn Fleming, Executive Director (volunteer)
Grassroots America - We the People