The Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, which is in Atlanta, ruled Friday that the so-called individual mandate portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is unConstitutional.
“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,” a divided three-judge panel said, according to Reuters. The majority opinion was written by Chief Judge Joel Dubina, a President George W. Bush appointee. His opinion was seconded by Judge Frank Hull, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton.
Labeled “Obamacare” by its critics, President Barack Obama’s Administration has been forced to constantly defend the law since he signed it on March 23, 2010.
“There has been no shortage of court cases regarding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Before today, four courts, including the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, examined the health reform law and found it constitutional. Today, a different court ruled against the Affordable Care Act’s individual responsibility provision. We strongly disagree with this decision and we are confident it will not stand,” read an entry in the White House’s blog.
“The individual responsibility provision — the main part of the law at issue in these cases — is constitutional. Those who claim this provision exceeds Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce are incorrect.”
According to CNN, in the court’s opinion, Dubina wrote that the mandate “can be severed” from the law, ruling that the unConstitutionality of this one portion of the legislation does not void the entire Act itself: “The Act’s other provisions remain legally operative after the mandate’s excision, and the high burden needed under Supreme Court precedent to rebut the presumption of severability has not been met.”