July 5, 2011 12:00 am

Appellate Court Says Health Care Mandate Is OK

The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has affirmed a district court decision that the requirement to purchase health coverage, which was created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, is constitutional. The appellate court concluded that the health coverage mandate is a permissible exercise of congressional power under the Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution. This clause specifically gives Congress the right to regulate interstate commerce.

The court recognized that the Commerce Clause gives broad authority to regulate economic activities. The minimum health coverage provision is a regulation on the activity of participating in the national market for health care delivery; this market has a substantial effect on interstate commerce. This is something that the court deems within the sphere of economic activities that Congress can regulate, so the law is constitutional.

Note: There are a number of other cases in different parts of the country currently before the courts on the same issue. Some have already decided that the law is unconstitutional. It is expected that the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately have to decide the issue.

Source: Thomas More Law Center et al. v. Barack Hussein Obama et al.; CA-6, No. 10-2388

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