Federal Appeals Court Seems Not To Like ObamaCare Mandate
If their questions are any guide, these judges seem downright skeptical of this Congressional power-grab:
But during almost three hours of oral arguments, the judges asked pointed questions about the so-called individual mandate, which the federal government says is needed to expand coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans. With other challenges to the law before other federal appeals courts, lawyers expect that its fate will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Chief Judge Joel Dubina, who was tapped by President George H.W. Bush, struck early by asking the government’s attorney “if we uphold the individual mandate in this case, are there any limits on Congressional power?” Circuit Judges Frank Hull and Stanley Marcus, who were both appointed by President Bill Clinton, echoed his concerns later in the hearing.
Hull also seemed skeptical at the government’s claim that the mandate was crucial to covering the 50 million or so uninsured Americans. She said the rolls of the uninsured could be pared significantly with other parts of the package, including expanded Medicare discounts for some seniors and a change that makes it easier for those with pre-existing medical conditions to get coverage. Dubina nodded as she spoke.
If the mandate goes, the rest of ObamaCare will probably crumble, because the mandate is the thing that holds it all together.
Of course, this is probably headed to SCOTUS anyway, regardless of how this court rules, but a defeat here could make it a lot harder for the pro-ObamaCare forces to win in the end.