U.S. Supreme Court to Decide on Obamacare Mandate

By | November 14, 2011

The Supreme Court announced that it would decide whether or not President Obama’s health care law would stand as it was passed by Congress.

For months, many legal experts have been expecting the decision to hear the case brought against the law by 26 states Attorneys General and a separate suit filed by a business group – what was not know is when.

The most contentious part of the suit is whether the health insurance mandate is an infringement on individual liberties. The mandate would force all Americans to buy certain kinds of government-approved health insurance or pay a penalty. This would set a dangerous precedent that would allow Congress to force citizens to buy any product it sees fit as long as the legislators in Washington D.C. believe it is “for the common good” or interest of interstate commerce.

The legislation also does not allow the purchase of some health plans to meet the requirement. Plans like High-Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) accompanied by Health Savings Accounts (HSA) may not meet the government’s measurements. These plans are largely sought by the self-employed, small business owners and those that choose to manage their health care dollars more-closely – more than 10 million Americans in 2010[1].

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) released this statement about the court’s decision:

It is not the business of government, at either the state or federal level, to tell individual Americans to purchase any product or service. That’s why, as president, I will not rest until the bill is completely repealed.

The highest court in America will hear more than 5 hours of oral arguments in March and render their decision in July – just a few short months before the 2012 elections.

The court could decide to invalidate the entire law, just the insurance mandate, uphold the whole law or hold their decision until after the law is mandated. Considering the massive impact to businesses that would have to wrestle with the cumbersome legislation, a decision to uphold the mandate or not is expected in the July ruling.


[1] – America’s Health Insurance Plan – http://www.ahip.org/content/pressrelease.aspx?bc=174|30516

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