Appeals Court Upholds Health Care Reform

Federal panel says Obama legislation is constitutional
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2011 2:43 PM CDT
A doctor take a patient's blood pressure in this file photo.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – President Obama's health care reform scored a legal win today: A federal appeals court in Cincinnati ruled that requiring people to obtain insurance or pay a penalty does not violate the Constitution, reports CNN. "We find that the minimum coverage provision is a valid exercise of legislative power by Congress under the Commerce Clause," said the three-judge panel. But backers should hold the celebration: Two more appeals court rulings are expected in weeks or months, and the case is all but certain to reach the Supreme Court, notes the Wall Street Journal.

Today's ruling, though, is unique in two ways, notes the New York Times. It's the first appellate decision for one thing, and it's the first time a decision "has not broken down strictly along seemingly partisan lines." Meaning, an appointee of George W. Bush joined an appointee of Jimmy Carter in the 2-1 decision. The dissenting judge is a Reagan pick. In the lower courts, Democratic appointees have backed Obamacare and Republican appointees have ruled against it.

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