A federal appeals court today on Friday ruled that part of President Obama’s health care bill is unconstitutional. A three-judge panel for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the “individual mandate” part of the health care plan which requires all Americans to carry health insurance or pay penalties for failure to insure.
The court case was filed by 26 states who found that the requirement to own health insurance was unconstitutional. The same ruling was handed down by another appellate court in June.
According to judges Joel Dubina and Frank Hull in a joint opinion:
“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.”
The individual mandate wasn’t originally endorsed by President Obama, however he soon realized that the cost of health care under the plan would be driven up when individuals without health insurance continued to use a system they are not paying into and then default on bills they rightfully owe. The President feared upon drafting the final bill that the stipulation which makes it illegal to deny health insurance buyers based on pre-existing conditions would be in jeopardy since the cost of the program would be out of reach for many of those people who need it the most.
The courts ruling of course is not reflective upon the actual costs of the plan or the right to form a health care law, but rather directly addresses the issue of Congress regulating interstate commerce since unlike jury duty or filing taxes, the bill requires individuals to enter into compulsory contracts with private company’s outside of the governments scope.