June 29th, 2011 – The Obama Administration had a key victory today when a U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit panel upheld the “individual mandate” provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The “individual mandate” provision requires nearly all Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or face financial penalties. This mandate was hotly contested and the issue is almost certain to eventually reach the Supreme Court.
Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote a key part of the ruling. He was a George W. Bush appointee and is generally considered a conservative on the court.
“Regulating how citizens pay for what they already receive (health care), never quite know when they will need, and in the case of severe illnesses or emergencies generally will not be able to afford, has few (if any) parallels in modern life. Not every intrusive law is an unconstitutionally intrusive law,” he said. “Time assuredly will bring to light the policy strengths and weaknesses of using the individual mandate as part of this national legislation, allowing the peoples’ political representatives, rather than their judges, to have the primary say over its utility. The government has the better of the arguments.”
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, sometimes called “Obamacare” was signed into law by President Obama in 2010.