Individual Mandate: Compare Health Insurance

While the fighting over the individual mandate in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act of 2010 rages on, recent court rulings have upheld the mandate.  The Insurance Journal article “U.S. Judge Upholds Individual Mandate in Obama Healthcare Law” discusses an October ruling from U.S. District Judge George Steeh.  The individual mandate will go into effect in 2014 and requires all Americans to compare health insurance and get coverage or risk getting penalized by the government.

Conservative interest groups and Republicans in general are up in arms over the new law and are trying to get it changed before it is scheduled to go into effect.  The Thomas More Law Center’s lawsuit filed in Michigan argued that the individual mandate is unconstitutional because of the tax on Americans and that it is above and beyond Congress’ powers.  Judge Steeh disagreed, however, and said that the mandate is within Congress’ power based on the Constitution’s Commerce Clause and confirmed that penalizing Americans who do not follow the law is also within their authority.

Out of six claims filed by the Thomas More Law Center, two were dismissed by Judge Steeh and the other four are pending.  Steeh also rejected the injunction that they wanted to issue against the government.  He said that the minimum coverage provision has been put in place to help take care of skyrocketing health care costs and get more Americans covered under health insurance from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and other insurers.  The Thomas More Law Center surely is not the only group fighting the government over this healthcare reform bill.  Many states have joined a lawsuit in Florida challenging the individual mandate as well.

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