ATLANTA, August 11, 2011—Reuters reports today that the United States 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the forced insurance purchase provision of the Obamacare legislation signed into law last year is unconstitutional. The court ruled that Congress exceeded its authority when it required Americans either to purchase coverage or face a stiff financial penalty.
While throwing out the key provision of this legislation, the court also ruled that the remainder of Obamacare could remain in effect. However, the elimination of the “individual mandate” effectively guts the legislation, depriving it of its major source of funding. The other primary source: a radical cut in Medicare benefits.
With the willing collusion of the mainstream media, the law’s supporters have been largely successful thus far in concealing the true nature of these Medicare cuts from voters, misleadingly accusing Republicans like Paul Ryan of wreaking the economic havoc the Democrats themselves have already set in motion for 2014.
The 11th Circuit ruling raises the bar of proof on the Obama administration for persuading the court that the individual mandate is indeed constitutional. But the ruling will almost certainly be appealed by an Administration that has sought from day one to significantly expand the reach and authority of an already financially overextended Federal government.
While a positive development for the majority of Americans who oppose this legislation, the appeals court ruling will nevertheless add to and prolong the uncertainty faced by individuals and companies with regard to their future career and business development plans—a primary reason why the Great Recession has never quite recessed.
Businesses continue to be reluctant to hire new employees lest they incur significant economic damage from the Obamacare plan as a result. The continuing uncertainty set in motion by this legislation is a major underlying factor in this country’s continued lack of job growth after nearly four years of continuing economic distress.
Without the massive funding mechanism of the individual mandate, today’s court ruling puts the entire Obamacare package in jeopardy. Should the court’s ruling be upheld by the Supreme Court, the United States might once again begin to create jobs, lower taxes, balance the budget, and begin the long climb out of the current economic morass.
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