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. Stage Fright

    @Scottish: We need to end the endless cycle of incarceration and welfare without requirements. There are those who don't want to pay for an illegal immigrant's 4 anchor babies and it's well justified. Require birth control for people on welfare at least. I'm an independent or swing voter and we have a larger voting block (40%) than either party (30% each), yet we get shafted every election and we are shafted by both the poor and the rich. I vote, but I'm not going to vote for the lesser of two evils. I'm sorry you've accepted things the way they are, instead of demand more from the overpaid children in Washington. I don't accept it.

    August 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      @Stage-I have spoken about requirements for welfare. (like education and work training programs in hand with welfare) It needs to be revamped. Immigrants I do not pretend to know about the mexican people on my block work and are legally in the country. The anchor baby story is true and without some legislation to say if a non resident of USA has a child which is born in this country and have a birth certificate that states the parents are not citizens, then the child and mother be deported back to the original country of her origin. The Mexican population mostly live here because people hire them, if a law was to say that businesses would be severely fined it would lessen the Mexican population in the US significantlly.
      If you have a larger voting block then why do you get the shaft. It is the indecisiveness of the swing that sways the pendulum. I do think that the republicans and Dems are starting to wise up, and maybe voting on the person will be the voting trend and not the party but the person with the ideas that makes the sense for the most of americans and not the wealthy. I would like some hard questions asked of the candidates and journalism be a craft that makes the intention of a candidate with the questions that matter.
      How do you demand more? You have what you have to vote for.

      August 13, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jim

    @StageFright: that's exactly why I became a Libertarian.

    August 13, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jim

    @Wow: guess you missed the memo that most states are making huge cuts in medicaid and taking a lot of people off it that are already on it so how exactly is someone else going to get on it? Missouri has drastically cut medicaid and we have a Democrat Governor.

    August 13, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      @jim I live in missouri also and medicare has been cut. But i find that crime is also been elevated in our state due to people out of work. Desparate times call for desparate measures when you are hungry and have children. The republicans run our state and will try the same tactics as Wisconsin.

      August 13, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Stage Fright

    @Jim: Libertarians have some good ideas and some bad. Some are cool with everyone owning a gun and having meth addicts walking around. Really it's fiscally responsible to have people on welfare be required to take birth control, but some "minimal government" types start talking about added costs or morals when really people would save money long run and people are going to be having schmex anyways. I think every party or ideology has some good ideas but they act like cults saying my way or the highway.

    August 13, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Stage Fright

    @Jim: Regarding incarceration: Israel has nearly no recidivism in their corrections system. They educate and treat their prisoners well, including terrorists and even the terrorists don't go back to their old activities. They leave prison ready to hold a job and live a productive life. If the US wanted to seriously reduce the drug problems in America they would destroy cocaine and heroin plantations at their source while legalizing marijuana, however we call Colombia an ally and protect the heroin plantations in Afghanistan. Our government likes things the way it is. Cat and mouse is good business.

    August 13, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. the prophet

    What we need in America is not a reform... Rather all working American to stop going to work one day! One mission one rule by the people for the people.
    But for a Nation of people whom were born and raised under this subordination system it may be difficult to just wipe some courage.

    August 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      @prophet – I deem thee organizer of project walk out- how should we proceed? Hospital staff? How about we start with a walk on Washington, Labor day weekend-Meet you at the steps of the capital? everyone with a sign of the list of their b-itches? You know I want to go, I have been saying it.

      August 13, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Scottish Mama

    @Stage-forced birth control, vasectomies, or sterlization is not an option for a free society.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Scottish Mama

    @Wow Wow to get your point across you may not want to start with your crazy. Most Dems I know do not want mandated insurance. But everyone with a job could pay for our insurance. The jacked up prices of every drug and cure is the problem. We need to demand we will pay within reason and be able to bring in cures from other countries. Until we get the drug prescription lords under control we are doomed to pay them handsomely. Not allowing Canada or mexico to make and import drugs, the american drug companies have the corner market and in our pockets, the monopoly of limited drugs to cure and steal us blind.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Scottish Mama

    Ok our new party is the coffee party. Our Walk on Washington is Labor Day Weekend. Who is meeting us there? Sign in below.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Scottish Mama

    Yeah, no takers to Washington this morning, Sll talk and no go?

    August 14, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  11. the prophet

    @Scottish well said am in i wrote a revelation post but my post got intercepted sorry body

    August 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Try again on the next page of the thread.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. the prophet

    Stop intersepting and my posts big brather!!!

    August 14, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. rick s.

    while they're at it they should repeal the patriot act as it is in direct conflict with personal privacy rights under the bill of rights.

    August 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      I am in with that idea, patriot act is something I could repeal. Exactly, peaceful demonstration.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. the prophet

    So a government deliberately plans cruel acts on it's society to take away rights from people so people have less rights!!! and of course less leverage in the judiciary branch (supreme court) (socialism) The patriot act does just that as s result of 911 governments know years in advance of their survival and longevity, and what they need to do to survive as cruel as it may be.

    August 14, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |

    YES , WE CAN...YES , WE CAN...WE WILL WIN IN WAR ON TERROR (30 whities or what are terrorists will never come back alive...thank you lord....aaamen).

    What do you mean tragedy! It was just a birthday present for planet apes president !!! That's all ! Feels great to flip hamburgers and hip hop atop of good news...makes you feel vibrant and energized !!!

    ARIZONA = UTOYA = GOVERNMENT‘S "AFTERLIFE" CASH & $$ FLASH MOB (there was no shooting in Utoya or Arizona, but instead tear gas and on faces of multiculturalism maniacs while calling you a terrorists) !!! or


    Whitie is fighting war on terrorism just to come home and be pronounced as terrorist...turned in Timothy, jobless, homeless ...YESSS, WE CAN...YESSS, WE CAN...GABBY OPENED HER EYES (Obaminator’s psychotic speech in Tucson = failed “Apocalypse Now“)


    Don't worry O(s)bama, you have just saved USA what is lots of Dollars in your DEBT DEALS(DEAD AND ILL) as those best of America or Navy Seals would also grew older and then you already know how it goes !!!

    August 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Sorry I do not understand your post.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
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