This week in health reform – increasing pressure on validity of the individual mandate
On Wednesday, a federal appeals court in Atlanta heard arguments in the lawsuit that was brought by Florida and 25 other states. The three-judge panel expressed concern that some of the features of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would have difficulty standing up to constitutional scrutiny. In addition to Atlanta there are two other federal panels that are set to hear challenges to the health reform law.
At the forefront of this court’s review is the “individual mandate” which requires everyone to carry health insurance or be subject to financial penalties. The acting U.S. Solicitor General who represented Health and Human Services, indicated that the individual mandate was a tax and therefore constitutional. This position is curious as it contradicts the message from the Obama administration in which individual taxes would not be increased as a result of the health reform law. See the CNN article for more details.