|There goes the legacy|
This ruling delivers a huge blow to the White House, as the President is still dazed and confused by his complete failure to to "create jobs" and reverse the Great Obama Recession.
This ruling comes as Consumer Confidence has sunk to a 30 year low, and the President's approval ratings are at their lowest point since his election. None of this bodes well for his reelection hopes.
The Universal Healthcare Bill was the lone Obama accomplishment in the almost three years of bungling, fumbling and vacationing that has marked his term in office so far. The President had hoped that Universal Healthcare would be his legacy.
The Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, found that Congress exceeded its autfhority by requiring Americans to buy coverage, but also ruled that the rest of the wide-ranging law could remain in effect.
The legality of the so-called individual mandate, a cornerstone of the 2010 healthcare law, is widely expected to be decided by the Supreme Court. The Obama administration has defended the provision as constitutional.
|A grim message for the President from the 11th Circuit Court|
It was strictly this portion of the law, the "mandate to purchase," that was ruled unconstitutional. Had the plan been voluntary, then it is unlikely that any court would rule it unconstitutional.
"This economic mandate represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority: the ability to compel Americans to purchase an expensive health insurance product they have elected not to buy, and to make them re-purchase that insurance product every month for their entire lives," a divided three-judge panel said.
Obama and his administration had pressed for the law to help halt the steep increases in healthcare costs and expand insurance coverage to the more than 30 million Americans who are without it.
It argued that the requirement was legal under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. One of the three judges of the appeals court panel, Stanley Marcus, agreed with the administration in dissenting from the majority opinion.
Many other provisions of the healthcare law are already being implemented.
The decision contrasts with one by the U.S. Appeals Court for the 6th Circuit, based in Cincinnati, which had upheld the individual mandate as constitutional. That case has already been appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, has yet to rule on a separate challenge by the state of Virginia.