A small-business group fighting President Barack Obama’s health-care law asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to add two plaintiffs to its lawsuit after possible problems arose with an initial plaintiff.
The case moved through the lower courts based in part on an assertion by Mary Brown, the owner of an auto-repair shop in Florida. Ms. Brown said her business planning was jeopardized by the need to set aside funds to pay for her health insurance beginning in 2014, when a provision requiring most Americans to carry such coverage or pay a penalty takes effect.
Two other plaintiffs also were listed: a retired investment banker in Washington state and the National Federation of Independent Business itself, the small-business lobbying group in Washington, D.C., that is fighting the law. But Ms. Brown was the only plaintiff the Justice Department agreed had legal standing to pursue the case.
The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Ms. Brown closed her shop in August and filed for personal bankruptcy the following month. Without owning a business, it could be harder for her to argue that the law harms her, and her financial woes suggest she could be exempt from penalties for not having health insurance.
The Supreme Court will hear the case in March, with a decision expected before July. The most significant issue is the one raised by Ms. Brown—whether Congress can impose the insurance mandate on Americans. In addition, 26 states are challenging a provision of the law that expands Medicaid coverage for lower-income Americans.