U.S. Appeals Court Backs Obama Healthcare Law

The original article can be found on: Health News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law got a boost Tuesday when a U.S. appeals court agreed with a lower court that dismissed a challenge and found the law’s minimum coverage requirement was constitutional.

The U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that had found it constitutional to require Americans to buy healthcare insurance coverage by early 2014 or face a penalty and had dismissed a lawsuit challenging it.

“It certainly is an encroachment on individual liberty, but it is no more so than a command that restaurants or hotels are obliged to serve all customers regardless of race…or that a farmer cannot grow enough wheat to support his own family,” wrote Judge Laurence Silberman in the majority opinion, citing past federal mandates that inspired legal fights.

“The right to be free from federal regulation is not absolute, and yields to the imperative that Congress be free to forge national solutions to national problems, no matter how local—or seemingly passive—their individual origins.”

It was the latest victory for the Obama administration, which sought the new law to try to stem the soaring costs of healthcare and to increase coverage for the more than 35 million Americans without healthcare insurance.

Silberman, a noted conservative judge, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and was joined by Judge Harry Edwards who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter. The dissenting judge was Brett Kavanaugh, appointed by President George W. Bush.

COURTS DIFFER

Two federal courts have thrown out the so-called individual mandate but others have upheld it. The Supreme Court is expected to take up the matter this term.

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