Even though three U.S. Courts of Appeal have ruled on challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — though they haven’t all agreed — and it will all inevitably be decided by the Supreme Court, lower courts are apparently still issuing rulings on the matter.
The latest ruling from a U.S. District Court judge in Harrisburg, PA, who ruled that the act’s controversial requirement that all individuals purchase some sort of health insurance is unconstitutional.
Contrary to the ruling by the Appeals Court panel in Cincinnatti, this judge stated that the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution does not in fact give Congress the authority to mandate health insurance coverage.
Wrote the judge:
The nation undoubtably faces a health care crisis… The federal government, however, is one of limited enumerated powers, and Congress’s efforts to remedy the ailing health care and health insurance markets must fit squarely within the boundaries of those powers.
A rep for the Justice Department tells the Chicago Tribune, “We believe, as other federal appeals courts have held, that the law is constitutional.”
In addition to the Cincinatti ruling, an Appeals Court in Richmond recently tossed out that state’s challenge to the health care bill.
On the opposite side of the argument, an Appeals Court in Atlanta deemed the insurance mandate unconstitutional.