Healthcare Reform Update: PPACA’s Individual Mandate Ruled Unconstitutional


Not surprisingly, we’re seeing significant (and growing) interest in last week’s Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. We’ll continue to update this reading list as additional commentary and analysis comes in:

11th Circuit Rules PPACA Mandate is Unconstitutional – Supreme Court Review Likely (Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP):

“On August 12, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that the individual mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was unconstitutional because it exceeded enumerated congressional authority under the commerce clause of the Constitution, but that the mandate was severable, with the result that the remainder of PPACA is constitutional. The court’s decision in Florida v. HHS, creates a split between the U.S. Courts of Appeals given the decision by the Sixth Circuit in Thomas More Law Center v. Obama, on June 29, 2011, that the individual mandate is constitutional under the commerce clause.” Read more»

What’s the Fate of Obamacare… Unconstitutional? (Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP):

“The 11th Circuit found that [the individual mandate] provision exceeds the constitutional authority of Congress, meaning that the federal government cannot force its citizens to buy insurance, and it cannot collect a penalty for citizens failing to do so. Many observers believe that if there is no penalty, there will be no incentive for uninsured individuals to obtain coverage.” Read more»

Eleventh Circuit: Individual Mandate Unconstitutional, but Rest of ACA Stands (McDermott Will & Emery):

“The greatest potential impact of the decision is twofold. Now that there is a circuit split between the Eleventh Circuit and the Sixth Circuit regarding whether the individual mandate is constitutional, the Supreme Court of the United States may take up the matter relatively soon, which makes it quite possible the high court will hear the case and rule on it prior to the November 2012 election. In addition, to the extent the high court finds the Eleventh Circuit’s reasoning on severability to be persuasive, the Eleventh Circuit opinion may have decreased the odds of the whole ACA being struck down by the Supreme Court.” Read more»

11th Circuit Deals Potentially Devastating Blow to President Obama’s Health Care Reform Law (Bracewell & Giuliani LLP):

“In effect, the Court dismantled the Obama Administration’s argument that health care is somehow different from other economic decisions, stating that the Administration’s argument was ‘…devoid of constitutional substance, incapable of judicial administration – and, consequently, illusory.’ It also moves the question of whether it is legal to require Americans to purchase health insurance a step closer to the U.S. Supreme Court.” Read more»

Health Care Reform  Status of Legal Challenges – Update (BrownWinick Law Firm):

“The government’s options in the 11th Circuit case are to either request a rehearing by all of the judges of that Court of Appeals or to petition the Supreme Court for review.  The fact that there is now a split between two circuits on the issue of the constitutionality of the mandate increases the odds that the Supreme Court will grant review.  Given the timing, there is a chance that the Supreme Court may decide this issue in its next session, which begins in October.” Read more»

Proposed Regulations Released Relating to Health Insurance Premium Tax Credits under Affordable Care Act while Eleventh Circuit Finds Individual Mandate Unconstitutional (International Lawyers Network):

“The Court opined that the individual mandate requires Americans to buy an expensive product from a private insurance company from birth to death and that Congress cannot mandate such purchases. However, there is now a split in the appeals courts as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has found that the individual mandate is constitutional.” Read more»

Legal Alert: Eleventh Circuit Finds Individual Mandate Provision of Health Care Reform Law Unconstitutional (Ford & Harrison LLP):

“It is not clear how the striking of the individual mandate will impact the PPACA from a practical standpoint. However, employers and businesses affected by the Act should continue to take steps to ensure compliance with the Act’s many requirements until further guidance is received.” Read more»


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