Appeals court upholds health care reform law
A U.S. court of appeals agreed on Tuesday with a lower court ruling that said President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law was constitutional.
The U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld that a mandate requiring people to purchase health care insurance was allowed under the U.S. Constitution.
“Despite questions raised as to our subject matter jurisdiction, we conclude we have jurisdiction, and we affirm the district court’s conclusion that the Act is constitutional,” Senior Circuit Judge Laurence Hirsch Silberman wrote for the majority (PDF).
“Because virtually everyone will, at some point, need health services, no one is truly inactive, and the health services market is inextricably intertwined with health insurance. Congress found that those who do not purchase health insurance, and instead self-insure, almost inevitably take health care services they cannot afford. Hospitals, by virtue of federal law and professional obligation, provide these services, and as a result, $43 billion in annual costs are shifted to the insured, through higher premiums. That, in turn, makes health insurance less affordable and increases the total number of uninsured. … Therefore, it is argued that Congress rationally concluded that decisions about how to pay for health care, in the aggregate, substantially affect interstate commerce.”
He added: “The right to be free from federal regulation is not absolute, and yields to the imperative that Congress be free to forge national solutions to national problems, no matter how local-or seemingly passive–their individual origins.”
(H/T: Think Progress)