States Want Appeals Court To Declare Healthcare Law Unconstitutional.

The AP (5/5, Bluestein) reports, “More than two dozen states challenging the health care overhaul urged a US appeals court on Wednesday to strike down the Obama administration’s landmark law, arguing it far exceeds the federal government’s powers.” The states filed a motion urging “the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to uphold a Florida federal judge’s ruling that the overhaul’s core requirement is unconstitutional. The judge, US District Judge Roger Vinson, said Congress cannot require nearly all Americans to carry health insurance.” According to the states, if the law is allowed to be implemented, this “would set a troubling precedent that ‘would imperil individual liberty, render Congress’s other enumerated powers superfluous, and allow Congress to usurp the general police power reserved to the states.'”
Bloomberg News (5/5, Harris) reports that the states further argued, “The act imposes a direct mandate upon individuals to obtain health insurance, marking by all accounts the first time in our nation’s history that Congress has required individuals to enter into commerce as a condition of living in the United States.” Bloomberg notes, “A three-judge panel of the court is scheduled to hear arguments on the appeal on June 8.”
The Hill (5/5, Pecquet) reports in its “Healthwatch” blog the brief filed on Wednesday argues “that the whole law should be struck down if part[s] of it are found to be unconstitutional. ‘There is no basis for suggesting that the mandate is severable from some but not all of the core, interrelated health insurance reforms — and the government is careful not to do so in this Court, and not to argue that Congress would have enacted any of the ACA’s core insurance reforms without the individual mandate.'”
CQ (5/5, Norman, Subscription Publication) says that the National Federation of Independent Business and two individuals are also part of the suit against the healthcare law, which “requires that almost all Americans have health insurance.” Advocates argue that the “mandate is needed to bring enough people into the insurance pool to spread out risk. Otherwise people might wait until they’re sick to purchase insurance, since the law also bars insurers from considering pre-existing conditions in selling policies to individuals.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (5/5, Rankin) also covers the story.


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