GA Circuit Court Rules Healthcare Mandate Unconstitutional
Matt | On 14, Aug 2011
The fight to get just *some* of the 50 million uninsured on the healthcare rolls is taking its fair share of heat from conservatives.
In Georgia, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has stood up against the “mandate” provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. That part of the law requires that Americans must purchase healthcare insurance or incur a tax penalty.
The court says that the Commerce Clause deems it unconstitutional for Congress to require Americans to purchase a product. They say that lawmakers cannot force Americans to do business with private entities.
The “mandate” to buy health insurance is designed to bring more people into the system, which can lower costs for everyone. Right now, one-sixth of the nation is uninsured and the remaining people have to pay for the care of the uninsured in some way (i.e., higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs). Supporters are hoping the mandate can bring some reality to these high-ass healthcare costs.
The Georgia ruling is important because it possibly sets the stage for the healthcare fight to go to the U.S. Supreme Court. It has also been getting media attention because the plaintiffs in the case are 26 governors and attorneys general who oppose the law.
An opposite ruling in favor of the mandate came out of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati in June. A third decision is expected soon from the Circuit Court in Richmond, Virginia.