Ruling on healthcare law in Florida could help local hospital - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Ruling on healthcare law in Florida could help local hospital

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The entire country's been all abuzz about the federal court ruling on the healthcare law.

Earlier this week a Florida judge decided the law was unconstitutional.

Many people have been wondering if this affects the lawsuit Texas Spine and Joint Hospital in Tyler has filed against the law.

We talked with the people involved to find out.

Doctor Michael Russell sees patients in Tyler. He and his colleagues at Texas Spine and Joint Hospital want to expand the facility so they can treat more patients. They claim the recent healthcare law forces them to stop their planned expansion, that was in the works before the healthcare law passed. @

"The law basically states that any hospital that has physician ownership and expands can no longer part and continue to see medicare patients. So, they're attacking the part of the law that covers that," said Dr. Russell.

He adds, "The case in Florida doesn't deal specifically with that. It focused on the part that required everyone to purchase insurance. The judge ruled it was unconstitutional. And, went beyond that. The ruling said that the law didn't have anything written into that said it can still be enforced even if one section is taken down. Basically, if you defeat one part, the whole thing sinks. So, we are going to ask the court in Tyler to consider the Florida decision striking all of the law and adhere to it as precedent. "

The plaintiffs in Tyler hope the federal judge here decides if it's unconstitutional there, then the whole thing, including section 6001, is unconstitutional here. That way the local physician owned hospital can expand and keep receiving payment from medicare patients.

"It would not make sense to take that population of patients, the medicare population and not let them to go to those hospitals that have the highest quality and the highest patient satisfaction," said Dr. Russell.

The Justice Department has announced it will appeal the Florida judge's ruling.

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