ATLANTA—(ENEWSPF)—August 12, 2011. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in a 2-1 decision struck down the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Health Care Act siding with 26 states that challenged it.
Eleventh Circuit Chief Judge Joel Dubina, who authored today’s opinion was joined by Judge Frank Hull in the majority. Judge Stanley Marcus voted against the states.
“The individual mandate exceeds Congress’s enumerated commerce power and is unconstitutional,” Dubina wrote. “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.”
Friday’s decision, however, did not void the entire legislation.
“Excising the individual mandate from the Act does not prevent the remaining provisions from being ‘fully operative as a law,'” Judge Dubina wrote.
“In light of the stand-alone nature of hundreds of the Act’s provisions and their manifest lack of connection to the individual mandate, the plaintiffs have not met the heavy burden needed to rebut the presumption of severability.”
The matter will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
To view the 11th Circuit Court’s opinion, see: www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/courts/ca11/201111021.pdf