The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against the individual mandate called for in the controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka “Obama Care”, passed in March 2010. (Read full opinion here.)
OK Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s reaction to this decision is noted below the AP announcement.
From the Associated Press, 8/12/11:
“Appeals court strikes health insurance requirement
Legality of the individual mandate is expected to go to the Supreme Court
By Greg Bluestein, AP 8/12/11
Washington – A federal appeals court panel on Friday struck down the requirement in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul package that virtually all Americans must carry health insurance or face penalties.
The divided three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the so-called individual mandate, siding with 26 states that had sued to block the law. But the panel didn’t go as far as a lower court that had invalidated the entire overhaul as unconstitutional.
The states and other critics argued the law violates people’s rights, while the Justice Department countered that the legislative branch was exercising a “quintessential” power.
The decision, penned by Chief Judge Joel Dubina and Circuit Judge Frank Hull, found that “the individual mandate contained in the Act exceeds Congress’s enumerated commerce power.”
“What Congress cannot do under the Commerce Clause is mandate that individuals enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die,” the opinion said.
Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus disagreed in a dissent.”
The AP article continues:
“The states urged the 11th Circuit to uphold Vinson’s ruling, saying in a court filing that letting the law stand would set a troubling precedent that “would imperil individual liberty, render Congress’s other enumerated powers superfluous, and allow Congress to usurp the general police power reserved to the states.” ”
Rest of AP article is here.
Oklahoma A.G. Scott Pruitt’s Reaction:
Pruitt Applauds Ruling on Federal Health Care Law 08/12/2011
OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Scott Pruitt released a statement in support of the ruling by the U.S. appeals court: “I am pleased the 11th circuit ruled today that the federal government cannot force Americans to buy health insurance. “Indeed, the ruling affirms and strengthens Oklahoma’s… more
So Where Does That Leave Oklahoma’s Health Insurance Exchange?
A joint legislative committee created by the Oklahoma legislature in May 2011 is to examine the impact of PPACA on Oklahoma. The committee will begin its’ series of 5 meetings in September 2011, with the first one scheduled for Wednesday, September 14, 2011 in Oklahoma City, OK. (Time and location to be determined.)
The subject likely to take center stage is the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad Health Insurance Exchanges. These exchanges, or so-called clearinghouses, are a cornerstone of the ObamaCare nightmare and most people can see the problems with their establishment.
The ones to be convinced, of course, are the legislators, who have to make a decision on how to move forward – follow the will of the people and common sense, or establish a state-based exchange.
The 8/2/11 House press release on this committee is below, including a list of the committee members.
Health care law committee to begin work
8/2/2011 11:09:00 PM
(405) 521-5605 desk
(405) 962-7674 desk
OKLAHOMA CITY (August 2, 2011) – Legislative leaders today announced membership and meetings of the Joint Committee on Federal Health Care Law, a special legislative committee that will study how the new federal health care law affects Oklahoma.
Senate Pro Tem Brian Bingman and House Speaker Kris Steele ordered the formation of the joint committee this past legislative session to ensure Oklahoma properly addresses the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
At the direction of co-chairmen Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, and Rep. Glen Mulready, R-Tulsa, the Joint Committee on Federal Health Care Law will do its work through a series of public meetings in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
The committee’s first meeting will be Sept. 14 in Oklahoma City. The committee is expected to meet at least five times through November.
“Having suitable health care options in Oklahoma is an issue the Legislature takes very seriously and intends to proactively protect and address through this committee,” said Stanislawski, a Certified Financial Planner. “Oklahoma patients, taxpayers, businesses, health practitioners, insurers and others all have wide-ranging questions and concerns about this largely unwanted new federal law. The law will affect all Oklahomans, some in significant ways, so this committee will seek to address all relevant questions and concerns for the benefit of all Oklahomans.”
Among the topics to be studied are the state of health care in Oklahoma, logistics and ramifications of implementing the federal health care law, implementation timelines, responses to the law and the costs local governments and businesses may face as a result of the law.
The committee will also explore the implications Oklahoma’s lawsuit challenging the law’s constitutionality may have on the law’s implementation here.
“Clearly, most Oklahomans oppose this law. While we have taken steps to guard against harmful portions of the law, we would be remiss if we did not continue reviewing it so we can do our best to protect a choice-based, free-market health care system for Oklahomans,” said Mulready, a 28-year insurance industry veteran. “Simply put, the committee will show Oklahoma what to expect from this law, how we can continue to protect Oklahoma’s interests and how we can make sure we are best prepared as a state.”
The committee will solicit testimony and recommendations from a wide range of public and private sector experts. It is expected to hear from state and federal policymakers, business officials, insurance agents and brokers, legal experts, health care industry officials and more.
“All parties will be at the table working to make sure Oklahomans have health care choices, not mandates,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “This is an opportunity for Oklahoma to assert our state’s rights and I’m confident all stakeholders will rise to the challenge so we can avoid dangerous federal mandates wherever possible.”
Ultimately, the committee will make recommendations on how the state should address components of the federal health care law.
“The committee will explore all possibilities for putting forth Oklahoma solutions that support a free market health care system,” said Steele, R-Shawnee. “Not everything is clear about this law, and most of us don’t like it, but what we do know is Oklahoma cannot afford to be caught flat-footed, unprepared and unprotected if it takes effect. As much as anything else, this committee ensures Oklahoma is prepared.”
Committee members are:
Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, co-chair
Rep. Glen Mulready, R-Tulsa, co-chair
Sen. Cliff Aldridge, R-Oklahoma City
Sen. Bill Brown, R-Broken Arrow
Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa
Sen. Sean Burrage, D-Claremore
Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman
Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove
Rep. Randy Grau, R-Edmond
Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City
Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, D-Tulsa
Rep. Danny Morgan, D-Prague