President Obama’s Healthcare Legislation Handed its Biggest Legal Defeat to Date

The Associated Press and CNN are reporting that in a 2-1 vote, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta sided Friday with 26 states challenging the constitutionality of a provision in the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

This was referred to as the “individual mandate,” the controversial part of the legislation that required nearly all Americans not covered under employer-provided health plans to purchase health insurance, or face a financial penalty.

The administration claimed that general-welfare and commerce clauses of the Constitution gave Congress the power to require Americans to purchase coverage, but the appeals court rejected that reasoning but also ruled that the rest of the massive overhaul could remain in effect.

The decision follows U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling in Florida, who struck down the entire law as unconstitutional in January.

This issue is expected to wind up before the Supreme Court, back this fall from break.

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