The final of three federal appeals court rulings on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has come down, and this round goes to the White House.
Earlier this year, a lower court in Virginia had sided with the commonwealth’s Attorney General, declaring the portion of the Care Act requiring individuals to have health insurance is unconstitutional. Today’s ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond overturns that decision.
Virginia had contended that this provision conflicted with a state statute, giving it standing to challenge the federal law. But the 4th Circuit disagreed and directed the lower court to dismiss the case because it lacked jurisdiction.
In June, Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinatti ruled that the law does not violate the Constitution, citing the Commerce Clause in its decision.
Then in August, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled that the individual mandate is indeed unconstitutional, but did not strike down the entire bill, only the portion requiring individuals to have insurance.
There is no doubt that this matter will ultimately end up at the feet of the Supreme Court, so there is little to do but wait and see when they decide to hear the case.
Virginia court tosses challenge to health care overhaul [Chicago Tribune]