Appeals Court: The Individual Mandate Is Out

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in the case of Florida v. HHS, has ruled that ObamaCare’s individual mandate is unconstitutional. Contrary to Roger Vinson’s lower court ruling, however, the Eleventh upheld the rest of the law. The ruling is 304 pages.

From the Ruling:

[w]e see no way to cabin the government’s theory only to decisions not to purchase health insurance. If an individual’s mere decision not to purchase insurance were subject to Wickard’s aggregation principle, we are unable to conceive of any product whose purchase Congress could not mandate under this line of argument.  Although any decision not to purchase a good or service entails commercial consequences, this does not warrant the facile conclusion that Congress may therefore regulate these decisions pursuant to the Commerce Clause.

Kevin Outterson: Broccoli wins!

The court discusses a parade of horribles, things (like broccoli) that Congress could force us to buy. The Court demands “sufficient and meaningful limiting principles” (at 113) that would prevent the government from making us buy broccoli.

Megan McArdle: Expect Bigger Deficits

Presumably, the insurance market across the United States ends up looking a lot like New York’s market, where during the debate over health care reform it was reported that the cost of the average family policy in the individual market was over $4,000 a month. That’s because New York has the other features of ObamaCare–community rating and guaranteed issue–without the mandate. The result was that all the healthy people dropped out of the pool, leaving a few very sick people to buy insurance.

There’s a slight difference though: the government is going to subsidize individuals in the private market. If the subsidies keep pace with the cost, Obamacare’s nominal deficit reduction is going to turn into a gaping hole in the federal budget.

Ezra Klein: This is What Obama Campaigned On

If Congress neither repeals nor repairs the law, it will simply limp along, covering fewer people at a higher cost. Health economist Jon Gruber estimated that under this scenario, the law will “cover fewer than 7 million people in 2019 rather than the 32 million projected to be newly covered. … Federal spending, however, would decline by only about a quarter under this scenario since the sickest and most costly uninsured are the ones most likely to gain coverage under the Affordable Care Act.” The irony of this outcome is that the law would look more like Obama’s campaign proposal, which did not include an individual mandate.

Chris Jacobs: Excellent summary of the ruling.

Comments (6)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Nancy says:

    Excellent ruling. I was glad to see it.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    The Affordable Care Act cannot survive without an individual mandate. The mandate is designed to compel health individuals to over-pay so less healthy people get a good deal. Without a mandate, people are free to game the system by waiting until they need costly care before signing up for insurance.

  3. Ken says:

    Great ruling, but it didn’t go far enough. The court should have thrown out the entire piece of legislation.

  4. Carolyn Needham says:

    Great ruling, thanks for the link from Chris Jacobs.

  5. Vicki says:

    Let’s have three cheers for broccoli.

  6. breast augmentation Perth says:

    The information you provide must for some people is very important, I am also very interested in this content, thank you.

    breast augmentation Perth