11th Circuit Rules Health Care Mandate Unconstitutional


Today a panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional, marking the first time an appellate court has ruled against the legislation on this issue.

The panel only struck the mandate portion of the law, ruling that the expansion of Medicaid was constitutional.  The issue was before the court after a ruling issued in January by Judge Roger Vinson who struck the entire law.  The 11th Circuit panel however said the rest of the legislation can stand, even if the mandate is unconstitutional.

The panel decision does not come as much of a surprise.  The 11th Circuit is considered a conservative district, comprising federal district courts in Alabama, Florida and Georgia.  The conservative makeup of the court was a key consideration in where the 26 Republican governors and attorneys general filed their challenges.

Given the limited scope of the decision, this can hardly be considered a win for opponents of the Affordable Care Act.  Vinson’s original ruling gave a broad whack at the bill and a conservative appeals court refused to follow suit.  The Obama administration, on the other hand, was likely expecting a loss at the 11th Circuit and should be pleasantly surprised by the limited scope of the ruling.

The federal government has 90 days to appeal the panel’s decision to the Supreme Court or to ask the entire 11th Circuit to review the ruling.

Photo from steakpinball via flickr.


William C
William C3 months ago


W. C
W. C3 months ago

Thank you for caring.

Michael R.
Michael R.6 years ago

The healthcare bill has no chance at all of succeding. The infra-structure alone will take years and years. We just don't have enough doctors, nurses, labs, hospitols, and so on. It doesn't really matter if it's un-constitutional or not.

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Glenn M.
Glenn Meyer6 years ago

Cutting spending on, so called, entitlements is ineffective for addressing the deficit. Cutting programs that support the low and middle class will further strain both who don’t even receive lower prices as a result of the U.S. job losses and create a disconnect that will end in another financial collapse. The justification for attacking government benefits as opposed to raising taxes is the creation of jobs. But where?

Corporations have over-powered our government which now believes that out-sourcing and off-shoring of U.S. jobs is inevitable and necessary with expectations that the middle class should fall on their swords. It is the underlying cause of the financial collapse and borders on national security with the loss of our middle class tax base. Yet, this nation does nothing, not even demand it be restricted by whatever method. International businesses are doing the UN-AMERICAN activity of destroying U.S. salaries, U.S. businesses that hire in the U.S., and as an end result, destroying the U.S. marketplace while still demanding BUSINESS ENTITLEMENTS and protections for themselves.

Infrastructure spending and tax breaks will not replace enough jobs to keep up with the hemorrhaging loss of U.S. jobs from out-sourcing over seas. Neither party will do anything about it unless we begin grass roots efforts to protest out-sourcing and off-shoring of U.S. jobs. If nothing is done we will deserve what we get and it will get a lot worse before it gets better

Jane R.
Jane R6 years ago

Government should keep their hands off healthcare. It's my right to have or not have healthcare. Next they will tell us we have to live in multi level appartment buildings, that we can't own a single family home because of overpopulation. That the land our homes sit on needs to hold three story appartments so more people can live in the same area of land. Enough!!!!!!!!

Philip S.
Philip S6 years ago

It is unconstitutional. Healthcare should be referred to states.

Zuzana Dratovnikova

I lived in Massachusetts BEFORE they forced the mandate on us (predecessor to Obamacare). Does that mean I have to leave this state because I disagree with the mandate? What kind of statement is Jessica trying to present in her article here saying that "The 11th Circuit panel however said the rest of the legislation can stand, even if the mandate is unconstitutional." Is there ANY respect for the Constitution? Hello?

Robert Hamm
Robert Hamm6 years ago

People have silly things called FAMILIES. They arent going to move away from their families for insurance.

Many Corporations want to be OUT of offering health care to their employees. THATS why this keeps coming up not because obama wants to push socialism. many corporations WANTED
they single payer system so they would be free of it.So stop with the silliness about HIM wanting it. THe DNC said Obama go sell this idea. Unfortunately the Health care industry is very wealthy and do NOT want single payer. They won the battles this time.