Courthouse for the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the health care laws passed in 2010 are unconstitutional. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A ruling has been handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the laws often referred to as “Obamacare.” The appeals court found that provisions of the law were unconstitutional.

Mandatory health insurance ruling

After the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed, a number of U.S. states filed lawsuits against the law in federal court, claiming that the law mandating all Americans to purchase health insurance was unconstitutional. There were 28 states, according to the CNN, that filed suits against the law, and there are more than 24 cases concerning the health care law still pending before federal courts. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, based in Atlanta, Ga., has handed down a decision concerning the law from the appeals bench, declaring the law unconstitutional. The court slammed the provision that mandates that all Americans purchase health insurance by 2014, calling it “wholly novel” and “an unbounded assertion of congressional authority.”

A hot legal mess

The battle in the nation’s courts over the Affordable Care Act has been going on for some time and is likely to take a long time to ultimately resolve. This particular case, according to the Wall Street Journal, is from a suit filed in Florida by 26 of the 28 states suing the federal government over the law. This ruling conflicts with a ruling handed down by the Court of Appeals in the Sixth Circuit, based in Cincinnati. A ruling from the Fourth Circuit appeals court, according to Bloomberg, is also currently pending concerning the “Obamacare” laws. At least four federal courts have ruled on the PPACA, according to CNN, splitting evenly. Courts in Florida and Virginia struck the law or portions of it down, but a judge in Michigan and another judge in Virginia upheld the law. The provision that is most often attacked is mandatory purchasing of health insurance. The Eleventh Circuit court has upheld the decision reached by federal judge C. Roger Vinson, who struck down the law in its entirety.

White House decries decision

The White House, according to USA Today, released a statement strongly objecting to the decision. Stephanie Cutter, a White House health care aide, put a post on the White House blog saying the White House is “confident it will not stand.” Congressional Republicans hailed the court’s decision. Since federal courts and appeals courts appear to be splitting evenly in rulings over the PPACA, the ultimate fate of the legislation will likely come to rest in the hands of the Supreme Court. An appeal to the Supreme Court has not yet been lodged, but one will likely be forthcoming. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Supreme Court doesn’t reconvene until October, as it is now on summer recess.

Sources

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/08/12/health.care.ruling/

Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904006104576504383685080762.html

Bloomberg: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-12/health-care-mandate-ruled-unconstitutional.html

USA Today: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2011/08/obama-aide-health-care-ruling-wont-stand/1?csp=34news

 

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