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U.S. Appeals Court: Obamacare Mandate to Buy Health Insurance Unconstitutional

Friday August 12th, 2011   •   Posted by David Theroux at 7:05pm PDT   •  

President Barack Obama’s health care law that requires individual citizens to buy health insurance is unconstitutional. Although the court did not strike down the rest of the health care policy, the decision is a major blow to the Obama administration, which appealed a lower court ruling by U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, who ruled against the health care reform in January of this year.

The 3-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with 26 states that filed a lawsuit to block Obama’s domestic initiative. The panel cited that Congress exceeded its constitutional authority by penalizing Americans for failure to purchase insurance.

Independent Institute Research Fellow and constitutional and healthcare legal scholar William J. Watkins, Jr., predicted in January that the lower court ruling in favor of the 26 states would “likely be the main vehicle for a legal challenge to Obamacare.”

“The Commerce Clause will become the fount of unlimited government and no right, liberty or inactivity will be protected from Washington lawmakers,” says Watkins.

Watkins points to key implications in the legal challenge against Obamacare:

  • Divorced from historical meanings and the original intent of the framers of the Constitution, through Obamacare, even the most nationalistic of the Constitution’s Framers, such as Alexander Hamilton, never envisioned that Congress could force Americans to buy health insurance.
  • If the individual insurance mandate passes constitutional muster and enters the realm of precedent, then we can safely assume that no right, liberty, or inactivity is protected from Washington lawmakers.

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August 2011