In a strong rebuke to the Obama-Care socialized medicine law enacted by Democrats in Congress last year, a federal appeals court has rightly struck down the most alarming provision of the law.
A panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta declared in a 2-1 ruling that Congress has no constitutional authority to force virtually all Americans to purchase government-approved medical insurance or be penalized.
The appeals court majority seemed almost stunned that lawmakers and President Barack Obama would have believed they had the power to impose such a requirement.
The court hearkened back to the painful days of the Great Depression and World War II, when, the judges noted, "Congress never sought to require the purchase of wheat or war bonds, force a higher savings rate or greater consumption of American goods."
The judges said that regulation of those who choose to purchase insurance may be permitted, but that Congress has no authority to regulate people who "have not entered the insurance market and have no intention of doing so."
Simply put, ObamaCare's requirement that Americans buy insurance "exceeds Congress's enumerated commerce powers," the ruling stated. It added, "What Congress cannot do under the Commerce Clause is mandate that individuals enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die."
Unfortunately, this ruling does not settle the matter. Though a majority of the states have joined lawsuits to have the law struck down, there have been other court rulings, both for and against it. It will undoubtedly wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
We do not know whether a majority of the Supreme Court justices may uphold or strike down ObamaCare, in whole or in part. But under our Constitution, the federal government does not have the power to order Americans to purchase health insurance, however sensible it may be to have it.
Therefore, we believe the Supreme Court would be correct to rule Obama-Care unconstitutional.