Court tosses key parts of health-care reform bill
August 12th, 2011
01:20 PM ET
3 years ago

Court tosses key parts of health-care reform bill

ATLANTA (CNN) – A federal appeals court in Atlanta has ruled key parts of the sweeping health care reform bill passed last year to be unconstitutional.

"The individual mandate exceeds Congress's enumerated commerce power and is unconstitutional," the court ruled. "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."

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Filed under: Health care
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Aaron C.

    Like we need this kind of distraction now.

    August 12, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. Fair is Fair

    Excellent! On to the SCOTUS!

    August 12, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. The Other Michael in Houston

    Okay CNN, which parts?

    August 12, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    The altruistic argument that the personal mandate is unconstitutional is a big smoke screen for the real objection. The real objection is to the coverage mandate on insurance companies.

    Many of the companies that carry health insurance, also carry auto insurance. These same companies do not object to mandated auto inurance. So why would they use the personal mandate argument against the health insurance law? Wy would health insurers turn down millions of potential new customers? Simple, because complaining about the coverage mandate just doesn't make good politics.

    Insurers know the cost of repairing an auto, and can reasonable predict what their costs would be over a large pool of customers. Predicting the cost of health coverage is problematic. Insurers wish to retain the right to deny coverage, or drop those who get sick and run up high costs. This battle is really about the coverage mandates, not the personal mandates.

    August 12, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. Frank - Ohio

    End Obamacare NOW!

    August 12, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. patNY

    I'm not surprised...I'm a liberal Obama supporter and even I knew the mandate could not pass constitutional muster...you cannot fine someone for not buying something you require they buy just for being alive and an American.

    August 12, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. vic , nashville ,tn

    Let the supreme court decide

    August 12, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. T'sah from Virginia

    [(CNN) – A federal appeals court in Atlanta has ruled key parts of the sweeping health care reform bill passed last year to be unconstitutional.]

    What parts? CNN has a habit of printing EMPTY NEWS!!! They also have a habit of "BLENDING RESPONSES" or changing the pictures from their original Ticker??? So my comment NOW will not make sense if CNN decides to ADD to this story or complete.

    SO, as of NOW – What Parts of the Health Care Reform Bill is unconstitutional???

    August 12, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. gt

    sounds like back to the drawing board..

    August 12, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Only a total leftist to the far left of Lenin would believe that the state should be able to force a person to buy a private product for the betterment of the collective. If this were true, then the government should be able to force everybody to buy a health club membership and focre them to work out 3-4 times a week to reduce the country's obesity problem. Not obese? Too bad, one size fits all sir. You MAY become obese in teh future so you must buy it now.

    The USSC needs to take this up and FAST because this unconstitutional disaster is already wreaking havoc on the health care system in this country. Obama's "biggest accomplishment" is one of the biggest DISASTERS ever perpetrated on this country.

    August 12, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. Leon Long

    The mandate is what we got after Obama had to give in to the far right lies and scare campaign. His goal is obviously free health care for all. But since conservatives are terrified of an America where their rich buddies who run insurance companies don't make record breaking profits every year, they did whatever it took to sabotage the Reform Act. They say it doesn't work in England, so why bother. I say because the last time people decided to take an idea from England, and improve on it, it was a tremendous success and it led to the formation of these United States! Human life is priceless and, therefore, should never be a business. People risk bankruptcy or, loss of their house, everyday in this country, because of out of control insurance costs. That is not the American Dream and it is proof that capitalism is not as great as the GOP would have you believe. I once read that if gas prices, from the 1970's until now, had increased as much as health care costs have we would be paying $15 a gallon...

    August 12, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  12. terry,va

    Bend over Obummie and the dumbocraps that passed this ignorant law and take your medicine!!!!

    August 12, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    I find it interesting that this court ruled that the entire law (which would include the coverage mandates on insurers) could not be thrown out. That the coverage mandates on insurers stand. Both courts came to the same conclusion, that the entire law could not be thrown out.

    As I said before, the objection to the personal mandate is just a smoke screen to get the coverage mandates ruled unlawful. So far, it is not working. I am interested to see how the conservative leaning SCOTUS rules on the issue of throwing out the entire law. Of course, without the personal mandates the entire law is severely diminished. It means my costs go up because someone else is getting over on the system.

    Everyone needs to eat. Right? So imagine if grocery stores were committed to providing food to every customer, which is what hospitals must do. All hospitals must care for the sick. If some customers cannot afford food, then they recieve government assistance, which pays for their food. But, some customers can afford their food, but do not wish to pay for it. They simply come in, take what they need, and leave. To compensate for these loses, the grocery stores *raise their prices* on everyone. This means higher costs to paying customers and the government programs that pay for those who cannot afford to buy their food.

    I think those who can afford health care should purchase to keep my costs down. Since I cannot make them pay their fair share then there should be something or someone who does.

    August 12, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    Meh...it's been upheld by some federal district courts and not by others. We're just going to have to wait and see once it gets tothe SCOTUS.

    August 12, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. GI Joe

    Well - being wealthy (as ALL southern states seem to be) I guess their MEDICAID can afford to pick up the tab for hospital costs for all those people that use the emergency room as their "primary care" physicians.

    How dumb.

    August 12, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  16. MPeters

    Or pay a tax for not having bought it. I don't see how it's forcing someone to buy something they don't want. IT's allowing them a tax deduction for buying it. I thought Republicans loved their tax deductions?

    August 12, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  17. diridi

    These High Court Judges are totally Idiots, o.k, How does it violate to the needed Health care. Is Car Insurance collection not violating if this is the case? See, I do not know, whether these idiots know or not, any law is good law, as long as it is for the good of the people. We have to take the intent of the law. Not Politics, these idiots are sold out to GOP thugs. What do you expect. Folks, I have masters in law., I am telling, do not vote for any Republican thugs in 2012. They sell this nation to corporate idiots. watch....God bless....Yes, I have masters in law....o.k, I know, what I am saying.....god bless....

    August 12, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    Oh, and an interesting tidbit that will throw a wrench into the works for anyone trying to analyze this or what the slightly conservative advantage on the SCOTUS will result in (given that Kennedy will be the swing vote if it comes to it)?

    Since he 6th Circuit upheld the mandate, this decision means that one very conservative Democratic appeals court judge, this Judge Hull, has ruled against the mandate and two Republican judges (Sutton and Marcus) have upheld it. Go figure. One thing is for sure though, based on his past decisions, GOPers better pray that Scalia hates the fact of a black liberal POTUS more than he hates being consistent.

    August 12, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  19. Republicans - The Not Intended To Be Factually Accurate" Party

    The reason lawyers are not respected is because they actually think people should suspend clear, direct, equivacable logic when comapring like circumstance JUST BECAUSE THE LAWYER/JUDGE says so in a manner that their ego thinks is elloquent.

    It`s simple if we can be forced to buy auto insurance THEN we can be forced to by health insurance.

    State vs Federal makes ZERO difference.

    Equally looney is the GOP arguement that marriage rules should be the province of "BIG GOVERNMENT" i.e. determined at the Federal level. Gee, I thought you Republicans ran around touting the 10th Ammendment.

    I guess you only do that when it serves YOUR desired outcome.

    August 12, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. Indy

    Why does every other civilized country have mandated healthcare ? Not one of them would give it up either.

    August 12, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |