Health insurance has been a hot topic for both Democrats and Republicans, especially as we enter the 2012 presidential election campaign. In recent news, there has been coverage of the Obama Administration’s appeal of an Atlanta court’s ruling against the healthcare law. Sources have said that the move indicates the Administration is confident that the Court will rule in its favor, while others highlighted the political risk inherent in the action.
In a USA Today article last week, the Obama Administration asked the Supreme Court to decide the constitutionality of a requirement that most Americans buy health insurance by 2014. Twenty six states and the National Federation of Independent Business have challenged the mandate as exceeding federal power and have urged the justices to intervene and strike it down.
The requirement that most Americans buy insurance or face a tax penalty is the focus of the health care law passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in March 2010. The law was the most significant change in the nation’s health care system since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 and extends insurance coverage to 32 million Americans.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit disagreed as it declared that forcing people to buy insurance represents an “unbounded assertion of congressional authority.”
The Justice Department is appealing “a decision by an Atlanta-based appeals court that said the individual-insurance mandate went beyond Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce. The lawyers say that appeals court decision, which conflicts with two appeals court rulings rejecting challenges to the law, undermines federal efforts to tackle the ‘crisis in the national health care market.'” In addition, the “administration said the appeals court ruling ‘denies Congress the broad deference it is due…to address the nation’s most pressing economic problems.'”
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