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Breaking News

Appeals court finds Obamacare unconstitutional




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August 12, 2011, 3:01pm
3830 views | 19 comments

Federal Appeals Court Rules Health Care Law’s Individual Mandate Unconstitutional
11th Circuit affirms lower court’s ruling striking down the health care law’s individual mandate

AUSTIN -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit today affirmed a lower courts ruling and concluded that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional. Calling the individual mandate “an unprecedented exercise of congressional power,” the court found that requiring Americans to purchase health insurance “exceeds Congress’ enumerated commerce power.” Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott represented the State of Texas, which is part of the 26-state coalition that filed a legal challenge to the federal law, when the Atlanta-based appeals court held oral arguments in June.

“Obamacare is closer to an end. The federal court of appeals agrees that the federal health care law’s individual mandate violates the U.S. Constitution -- and cannot be enforced against the American people. This is an important ruling for freedom and limited government,” Attorney General Abbott said.
Media links
Opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

“As we have maintained since before the law was first enacted, the individual mandate exceeds the constitutional limits on Congress’ authority. The federal government cannot rely upon Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce in a misguided effort to require that every American purchase government-approved health insurance -- whether they want it or not. No public policy goal, no matter how important or well-intentioned, can be allowed to trample the protections and rights guaranteed by our Constitution.”

Under the federal health care law, for the first time in the nation’s history, the federal government is attempting to force individual Americans to enter into contracts and purchase services from private companies -- in this case, insurance companies -- or face a penalty. Attorney General Abbott challenged this so-called individual mandate requirement, explaining that such an imposition on the American people exceeds Congress’ authority and violates Americans’ constitutional rights. Today’s Eleventh Circuit decision agreed with the States’ legal argument, explaining: “...what Congress cannot do under the Commerce Clause is mandate that individuals enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die.”

Striking down the unconstitutional individual mandate, the court said that the requirement not only imposes on individuals, but also “imperils our federalist structure.” In light of the overreaching mandate’s unparalleled interference with individual liberty, the court struck down the individual mandate because “the judiciary owes its ultimate deference to the Constitution.”

The bipartisan 26-state coalition currently includes Texas, Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Washington, Colorado, Michigan, Utah, Alabama, South Dakota, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Alaska, Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, Wyoming, Wisconsin and Maine. The states are joined in this lawsuit by the National Federation of Independent Business, and individual plaintiffs Mary Brown and Kaj Ahlburg.

The multistate lawsuit was filed shortly after President Barack Obama signed the bill into law. The legal action specifically challenges the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and names the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor as defendants because those federal agencies are charged with implementing the Act’s constitutionally impermissible provisions.

Key Quotes From Today’s Ruling:

“The fact that Congress has never before exercised this supposed authority is telling.”

“If Congress may compel individuals to purchase health insurance from a private company, it may similarly compel the purchase of other products from private industry...”

“Here, it is undisputed that the individual mandate supersedes a multitude of the states’ policy choices in these key areas of traditional state concern.”

“...what Congress cannot do under the Commerce Clause is mandate that individuals enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die.”

“It cannot be denied that the individual mandate is an unprecedented exercise of congressional power.”

“The structure of the Constitution interposes obstacles by design, in order to prevent the arrogation of power by one branch or one sovereign.”

“This economic mandate represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority: the ability to compel Americans to purchase an expensive health insurance product they have elected not to buy, and to make them re-purchase that insurance product every month for their entire lives. We have not found any generally applicable, judicially enforceable limiting principle that would permit us to uphold the mandate without obliterating the boundaries inherent in the system of enumerated congressional powers.”
 


Your Opinions and Comments
 
Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
August 17, 2011 11:17am
 
 
Facts, The 22-year-old will have insurance ONLY if the parents can afford or choose to pay for the insurance. Incidently, the rates for individual policies have increased ... Read More Read More
 
 
4th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
August 17, 2011 9:55am
 
 
"Facts Only"....Yeah Right! YOU better look at the law. EVERYONE, man, woman, child WILL have insurance which they will have to Pay for. If they DO NOT take ... Read More Read More
 
 
Facts only please  
TX  
August 17, 2011 9:07am
 
 
Senior Citizen: You do not understand, there will be no change, those who do not have insurance now will not have it in the future, law or no law. At least the 22 year old ... Read More Read More
 
 
Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
August 17, 2011 7:41am
 
 
Facts ... so, we just ignore the so-called health care law? It will go away? And, it's not health CARE, that it is addressing. It is health INSURANCE.
 
 
Facts only please  
TX  
August 17, 2011 6:20am
 
 
4th Generation Texan what is the penalty? About 600 dollars!! OBTW: The new health law explicitly says that there will be no criminal sanctions for failing to pay the penalty, ... Read More Read More
 
 
4th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
August 16, 2011 11:31am
 
 
Facts only. Duh! What is the difference between having to buy health insurance and paying a penalty? By paying a penalty, you are declaring that you are a law breaker and ... Read More Read More
 
 
Facts only please  
TX  
August 16, 2011 10:36am
 
 
4th Generation Texan: Saying Health Care IS REQUIRED is like saying everyone IS REQUIRED to pay income tax. You can opt out of paying for Health care and pay a penalty. ... Read More Read More
 
 
4th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
August 16, 2011 9:04am
 
 
"Rock n"..LOL! Isn't that the way 'EVERYTHING' works? I found your statement that the difference between states requiring auto insurance and Federal requirment ... Read More Read More
 
 
Rock'n chair Rambler  
Over Taxed, TX  
August 16, 2011 8:00am
 
 
The difference between the State requiring car insurance and the "Congress" requiring health insurance is simply the way the Constitution was written and has ... Read More Read More
 
 
Facts only please  
TX  
August 15, 2011 1:53pm
 
 
OBTW: So much for the job killer statement.
Farley, Robert; Angie Drobnic Holan (January 20, 2011). "The health care law a 'job killer'? The evidence falls short". ... Read More Read More
 

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