Federal appeals court strikes down federal healthcare bill - All Americans must purchase healthcare unconstitutional

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Missouri News Horizon
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.
– A federal appeals court sided with Missouri and 26 other states Friday, when it declared the individual mandate provision contained within the federal health care reform law to be unconstitutional.

The decision by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta strikes down the portion of the health care law that requires virtually all Americans to purchase health insurance, one of the main pillars of the broad bill.  However, the three-member judicial panel did not go as far as lower courts, which had ruled that the entire bill should be thrown out because of the individual mandate.

The case comes after a number of states decided to sue the federal government shortly after the law was passed. In all, 37 states filed briefs before the court whether they were either for or against the law. One such brief was filed by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster. His position mirrored the decision made by the 11th Circuit Court.

Koster, a Democrat who for a long-time resisted the call from state Republican lawmakers to join the chorus of state attorneys general disavowing the law, ultimately took the moderate approach of condemning only the individual mandate.

“I continue to support the goal of expanded health care for all Missourians,” he said. “I agree with the 11th Circuit that the majority of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act are severable from the problematic constitutional issues raised by the individual mandate.”

Lawyers for the federal government are expected to either ask for a review of the decision by the full 11th Circuit Court or to appeal to the Supreme Court where the issue is likely to be ultimately decided.