August 12th, 2011
01:19 PM ET

Parts of health care law ruled unconstitutional

A federal appeals court has tossed out key provisions of the sweeping healthcare reform bill championed by President Obama, setting up a likely election-year showdown at the Supreme Court over the landmark legislation.

A divided 2-1 panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta on Friday found the law's "individual mandate" section, requiring nearly all Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or face financial penalties - was an improper exercise of federal authority.

"The individual mandate exceeds Congress's enumerated commerce power and is unconstitutional," wrote Chief Judge Joel Dubina. "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."

Significantly, the court concluded even though that key section to be unconstitutional, the entire law need not be set aside. In fact, the judges said law's expansion of the federal Medicaid program was constitutional, since states - which administer it - would not bear "the costs of the program's amplified enrollments."

This appeal resulted from in a massive lawsuit brought by Florida and 25 other states opposing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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Filed under: Health • Health Care • Health care reform
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. gung hoe

    I sorry but i for one am both A tea party american and a republican I am not racist but i love my country fought her and would again To vote tea partiers and republicans out if you work and pay taxes then you would be going against yourself

    August 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      No, if we vote TP(Toilet Paper)/republicans out it will get rid of the wealthy non tax paying running the government. The government will run smoothly, we will once again pay our bills and the debt ceiling will get paid off, like every other time a debt was incurred by the republicans. We can get out of the wars(which the republicans want to stay in)The wealthy will help pay off the debacle that the banking system caused. We willl put more jobs on the table. And if the dems don't get their acts togetther they will be next. I am not afaid to pay taxes. And If you are outsourcing you pay a tax to take your business elsewhere. We do not let the wealthy take the bargaining rights of the unions and the working people.
      I think President Obama has shed more like on the running of the govenment and shown just how broke it really is. Now lets fix it. We as voters need to ask the questions that make our candidates do what is right and just for workers and small business'. Not let Oil companies and utilities pollute our water and raise prices at their profit whim.

      August 13, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. john

    Not very good but better than those Bush years. I lost 30% of my 401K under him, thanks George.

    August 12, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tea party is over

    No when the Bush was in office he deregulated the Banks, which we are paying for, He deregulated insurance companies, we pay alot more for insurance, he started wars, we are still paying for them, to help get oil and make he and his Carlyle friends rich, I rather know were my tax money is going and help people, than make the wealthy wealthier. You talk the talk points of a drone. Look up ( Billy Tauzin(sp) and Pharma) Look up (Carlyle group and Baker and Bush 1) Look up the Glass- Steagal act of 1933 and the REpublican Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act 1999 deregulation of banks. Then the Bush deregulation of banks. Gung u haven't a clue.

    August 12, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tea party is over

    Wisconsin I no longer feel sorry for u, YOU have shot yourself in the foot 2ce, and it was the same foot. I hope the Koch Bros. put u into sweat shops. You just gave Walker your vote for him to wipe his shoes on U. U must be the submissive partner.

    August 12, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. s kel

    dung hoe, crap like you are allready in congress, its called the tea party/republicans.

    August 13, 2011 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. Diether

    The personal mandate could be eliminated from the President's health-care plan quite easily by repealing any statutes that require hospitals to treat uninsured persons.
    Doctors could be free to treat patients on the basis of charity if they chose, or not to see these patients who chose to opt out of the health-insurance plan.
    A human being should have the right to choose to pay for medical treatment or to refuse treatment.

    August 13, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. Stage Fright

    What this country needs to do is tax heavily companies that outsource. Then we need to reform our social programs to help people be more productive and help them get on a path to fending for themselves. Those who are not elderly or disabled should be working or attending school for a career. Medical insurance should not be mandated, but rather be guaranteed for the underemployed while they are struggling. This country is completely being ran like a circus. A circus is probably ran better.

    August 13, 2011 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  8. Diether

    @ Stage Fright:
    I agree with you partially.
    I do not think that medical insurance should be mandated.
    I do not think that medical insurance should be guaranteed for the unemployed.
    I agree that it is better for corporations to seek employees in this country before outsourcing.
    I think that workers in this country should be willing to perform the potentially outsourced work for the pay that workers in other countries would receive: that is what the work is worth. I'd prefer to see Americans do this work.
    I do not see any reason to tax corporations as punishment for doing business in a profitable manner.

    August 13, 2011 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. jim

    @Diether: how ignorant are you? No one could afford to get to and from work on the few dollars a week they'd get paid if companies paid here what they pay in places like mexico and china moron.

    August 13, 2011 at 5:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. jim

    Tariffs isn't a tax, and yes if companies choose to move out of the country for slave labor they should be slapped with tariffs high enough to make it unprofitable for them to do so.

    August 13, 2011 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Scottish Mama

    Tariff-1) A list or system of taxes placed by a government upon exports or esp imports 2) a tax of this kind or its rate 3) any list or scale of prices , charges, etc., 4) Any bill ,charge, fare, etc., 1. to make a schedule of tariffs on: set a tariff on 2) to fix the price of accorking to a tariff

    August 13, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  12. AGallon

    Obama's army is deserting him. Health care will be killed by the Supremes. Saclia will write a concurring decision for the ages. Wisconsin recall targeting responsible fiscal conservatives failed. The pendulum is swinging right. Duck lefties!

    August 13, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Half Pint

      Maybe purging Washington of all the kept beholding cronies on both sides of the isle is a good thing. I would not say responsible, just bought and paid for by the Koch Bros. They all need to go. I thought Wisconsin would put some hope back in the workforce. I think Wisconsin made a mistake. I hope the recall for Walker is successful and he is run out of town on a rail. The pendulum is swinging it's taking the heads off the working class.

      August 13, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. Stage Fright

    @Diether: Some workers make $0.50 an hour. Worker safety regulations and environmental regulations are pretty much non existent. They get very few breaks and get treated like dirt. Some foreign companies use child or slave labor to make raw materials or components before selling them to an american company prior to the outsourced labor assembling whatever the product is. You can look up the US dept of labor's report on child/forced labor. Americans rightfully will not tolerate such working conditions and big business keeps blaming the American worker for the jobs leaving. Our economy was doing great until the middle class was attacked for their wealth, now look at the results. The tax revenue from all the outsourced jobs and the illegal immigrants mixed with corporate tax loopholes has created an income problem for the United States. The consumers don't have money to spend and the only way to fix the government's budget, mortgage collapse, and consumer spending is to provide the consumers with money to buy stuff (jobs). How many child or slave laborers are buying iPhones or cars? Exactly. They can't afford them. It's a bigger redistribution of wealth than any government program.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Well said.

      August 13, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. Stage Fright

    I also forgot to add that iPhones and Nike shoes are still outrageously expensive, so the trickle down price savings companies always try to scare us about is just smoke and mirrors. We need to get lazy people off the social programs and start taking care of those that want to work or go to school. There is never middle ground in politics and many people are getting tired of choosing between handouts or corporate slavery by working 3 jobs to feed their families. Anyone who chooses sides is a moron in my opinion.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Trickle does not work, if it has not worked already it will not work. We pay premium because we are willing to jump on to every shiny item they flash infront of us. We need to have the social programs for the people who have lost their jobs and revamp the programs to include training and education in conjunction with welfare. We need a score card to keep track of people on welfare to make sure people are mainstreamed into the workforce. You have to chose a side their are only two to chose from and as long as there is no alternative I chose to vote for the best person to get the job done at the time.
      I guess you do not vote?

      August 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. WOW

    You all are crazy, Obamacare isnt socialist it isnt communist, its your democracy govt. forcing you to buy a service because you are alive. It wont lower healthcare costs, it wont save those that cant afford insurance now. It wont even help the poor misfortunates get insurance. Anyone who thinks the healthcare companies are fighting against Obamacare is not very educated, they are chomping at the bit for this thing to work out...just think 50 million more dues they can collect. Stand up and get your own health insurance if you cant then get on medicaid. Dont try to blame the fact that people that dont have insurance are causing high medical prices or high premiums. Using this logic we can throw the supply and demand principle out the window. My gosh gas should be about a penny a gallon because everyone buys it and those that dont buy gas are the ones driving up the price.... haha listen to yourselves for goodness sakes.

    August 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
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