Obama Administration Defends Health Reform Mandate In Brief.

Politico (5/19, Haberkorn) reports that, in a brief filed on Wednesday, “the Obama administration argues that the states suing over the constitutionality of the health care reform law would risk leaving uninsured Americans ‘on the street after a car accident’ without the law’s requirement that nearly all Americans buy health insurance.” The federal government “is asking the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Florida Judge Roger Vinson’s decision to strike down all of President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy accomplishment.” This lawsuit has “become the most high-profile and politically charged challenge to the law.”
Bloomberg News (5/19, Harris) reports that the Administration states in the brief, “‘In regulating the means by which individuals pay for health care, Congress dealt with the reality that all people are at risk of injury and illness,’ and the legislative branch has the constitutional power to require people to procure coverage.” But, the states argued earlier this month that the healthcare law “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.” Therefore, they are asking the appeals court to uphold Vinson’s ruling.
CQ (5/19, Norman, Subscription Publication) reports that the Justice Department also maintains in the brief that the “millions of Americans who opt to ‘self insure’ and not buy health insurance pass on billions of dollars of health care costs to…taxpayers.”


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