Feds appeal health care reform ruling
ATLANTA – The federal health care overhaul’s core requirement to make virtually all citizens buy health insurance or face tax penalties is constitutional because Congress has the authority to regulate interstate business, the Justice Department said in its appeal of a ruling that struck down the Obama administration’s signature legislation.
The government’s 62-page motion filed Friday to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals argued that Congress had the power to enact the overhaul’s minimum coverage requirements because it is a “rational means of regulating the way participants in the health care market pay for their services.”
Twenty-six states filed a lawsuit that said Congress had exceeded its authority by requiring that all citizens buy health insurance or face tax penalties. U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of Florida agreed in a Jan. 31 ruling that said President Barack Obama’s entire health care overhaul is unconstitutional.
So far, three federal judges have upheld the law, while Vinson and a Virginia judge ruled against it.
A three-judge 11th Circuit panel is set to consider oral arguments about the case in June.
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