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Appeals Court Rules Health Care Law is Constitutional

Earlier today, a federal appeals court in Ohio held that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. Specifically, in a 2-1 ruling, the Sixth Circuit held the “individual mandate” does not exceed Congress’s powers under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The individual mandate is the provision in the new health reform law requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance by 2014 or face a monetary penalty.

In a 64-page opinion, the court held “that the minimum coverage provision is a valid exercise of legislative power by Congress under the Commerce Clause.” Read the court’s decision.

Judge Jeffrey Sutton is the first Republican-nominated judge to rule in favor of upholding the law. In his concurring opinion, Judge Sutton wrote that while the plaintiffs challenging the law failed to make their case for now the ruling doesn’t prevent individuals from initiating new challenges to the Affordable Care Act after the insurance requirement goes into effect and it becomes clear how the law affects particular individuals.

The court’s decision today upheld a district-court ruling that also found the law constitutional. There are two other cases challenging the Affordable Care Act pending before different federal appeals court.

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