US court tosses out key parts of US prezs sweeping health care bill making insurance mandatory for most Americans

ARUN KUMAR Washington

In a major blow to President Barack Obama, a US federal appeals court has toss

ed out key provisions of his sweeping health care reform bill making insurance mandatory for most Americans, reports IANS. In a 2- 1 ruling the 11th Circuit US Court of Appeals in Atlanta on Friday found that the laws ” individual mandate” section – requiring nearly all Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or face financial penalties – was an improper exercise of federal authority.

The verdict sets up a likely election- year showdown at the Supreme Court over the landmark legislation as another federal appeals court in Cincinnati has ruled the ” individual mandate” to be lawful.

” The individual mandate exceeds Congresss enumerated commerce power and is unconstitutional,” Chief Judge Joel Dubina wrote for the Atlanta panel.

” 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.” Significantly, the court concluded that even though the key section is unconstitutional, the entire law need not be set aside.

In fact, the judges said, laws expansion of the federal Medicaid programme was constitutional, since states – which administer it – would not bear ” the costs of the programmes amplified enrolments.” The decision marks a significant victory for the 26 Republican attorneys general and governors who challenged the health- care law on behalf of their states.

A White House spokesperson said ” we strongly disagree with this decision.” ” By bringing everyone into the health insurance system, we can not only lower costs for everyone but also finally ban discrimination against individuals with pre- existing conditions,” said Stephanie Cutter, assistant to the president. ” Todays ruling is one of many decisions on the Affordable Care Act that we will see in the weeks and months ahead.

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