By MICHAEL TARM
CHICAGO (AP) — Arguments before an appeals court on U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s challenge of the federal health care overhaul have focused on whether a disputed rule harmed the Wisconsin Republican.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago heard arguments Wednesday on executive rules adopted after the passage of the health care reform that let congressional staffers retain certain insurance benefits. A lower court tossed the Johnson lawsuit last year, saying he didn’t have legal standing because he couldn’t show any harm to himself. On the contrary, it said Johnson and his staff receiving benefits.
Johnson’s attorney, Paul Clement, said Wednesday the rules hurt Johnson’s reputation in his constituents’ eyes because his staff was getting special treatment.
Government attorney Mark Stern countered that there’s no legal support for such reasoning.