Federal court guts Obamacare

Posted August 13, 2011

    In a ruling that could impact many in Newberry Springs, the federal appeals court in Atlanta has struck-down the divisive Obamacare's requirement that mandated that most Americans must purchase government approved health insurance.

    In a 2-1 decision, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed with Georgia and 25 other states that Congress had exceeded its powers in mandating health insurance.  The majority of the court wrote that during World War II, "Congress never sought to require the purchase of wheat nor war bonds, force a higher savings rate or greater consumption of American goods."

    The court recognized Congress' authority to regulate the interstate purchase and sale of insurance but not regulate consumers who have not entered the insurance market.  The court also allowed other portions of the law to stand; so only the mandate portion was stricken.

    The ruling conflicts with a federal appeals court ruling issued two months earlier from a Cincinnati court that stated that Congress does have the authority to mandate the purchase of insurance under the constitution's commerce clause.  Another ruling from a Richmond, Virginia federal court is due soon.

    Under Obamacare, the law guarantees that all Americans can get healthcare insurance.   The Atlanta court stated that the healthcare bill is an "unprecedented" expansion of constitutional power and questioned the right of Congress to force American consumers to purchase a product that the majority does not want.

    Forcing all Americans to purchase the insurance is a key necessity for the mandated program to work.  The privileged President, families of Congressmen, Muslims on religious grounds, and a few others are specifically exempted from having to participate in the government insurance program.

    As people under the healthcare bill are guaranteed acceptance, if it is not mandated, people are expected to wait until they need the insurace to purchase it.  This would greatly inflate premiums to the point of being sky-high to last-minute buyers.  About 50 million Americans lack basic healthcare.

    Besides a sharp rise in premiums, removal of the mandate portion would also place billions of dollars of extra responsibility upon the federal treasury as Americans by the millions are expected to qualify for federal subsidies in 2014 to acquire insurance.  Such a run upon revenues could force cut-backs in other healthcare areas like expansion of state Medicaid to low-income individuals.

    The right to healthcare is not guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.  President Obama is promoting his healthcare plan under the commerce clause (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3) which has been loosely defined to greatly expand the powers of the federal government into many areas.

    The conflict in the rulings and the appeals will eventually push the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court for resolution.

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