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Court nixes Ken Cuccinelli's bid to block health care law: What now for consumers?

Ken Cuccinelli (AP)
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
AP Photo

(CBS/AP) A leading opponent of the health-care law has gotten  the cold shoulder from the Supreme Court. The court on Monday turned down a request from Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia to depart from its usual practice and "fast track" review of the controversial law.

As a result, judicial review of President Obama's signature legislation - which Cuccinelli said had created "cripping and costly uncertainty" - will continue in federal appeals courts.

In the meantime, the federal and state governments have begun to put in place other parts of the law, including changes in payment rates under the Medicare system for older and disabled Americans and a provision allowing children up to age 26 to remain on the parents' health insurance policies.

Cuccinelli filed suit on behalf of Virginia, while 26 states joined in a separate lawsuit in Florida claiming that Congress exceeded its authority in requiring citizens to buy health insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014.

Only rarely, in wartime or a constitutional crisis, does the court step into a legal fight before the issues are aired in appellate courts.

"Expediting our case would have been the exception and so, although disappointing, this is not surprising," Cuccinelli said.

So far, five federal judges have ruled on challenges to the law. Two Republican appointees, in Florida and Virginia, declared it unconstitutional in whole or in part - but both rulings have been put on hold pending appeals. Democratic appointees in Michigan, Virginia and Washington, D.C. have upheld it.

The Obama administrated had opposed Cuccinelli's plea.