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Federal Judge Upholds Individual Mandate in Healthcare Law

Judge George Steeh of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, says the Constitution's Commerce Clause allows Congress to regulate...
October 13, 2010

Judge George Steeh of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, says the Constitution's Commerce Clause allows Congress to regulate "economic decisions" as well as "economic activity," meaning the individual mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is constitutional. Steeh says Supreme Court precedent also supports the mandate and that the act's penalty provision is constitutional given that it is "incidental" to the act's purpose. "The uninsured, like plaintiffs, benefit from the 'guaranteed issue' provision in the Act, which enables them to become insured even when they are already sick," says Steeh. "This benefit makes imposing the minimum coverage provision appropriate." The dismissal of the challenge brought by the Thomas More Law Center, a conservative Christian legal group, and several Michigan residents is the first legal decision on the substance of the health reform act. The center said it would appeal. Other court challenges are pending.

Click here to read Judge Upholds PPACA's Individual Mandate (National Underwriter 10/8/2010)

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