A judge appointed by George W. Bush was one of the judges in favor of upholding the “individual mandate” in President Obama’s health care plan today in a court in Ohio.
The individual mandate is the requirement in the new health plan that states that all Americans must purchase health insurance, something opponents considered a violation of the interstate commerce clause.
The judge was Jeffrey Sutton, an appointee of George W. Bush and a former law clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia who said the law was constitutional.
The judges ruling came from the Sixth Circuit appeals court, one of the most conservative courts in the nation.
4 lower courts have upheld the law and 2 have opposed it on its way to be debated under the Supreme Court of the U.S.
Opponents of Obama’s health plan claim that the government can’t force individuals to buy insurance because the interstate commerce clause in the U.S. constitution states the government can’t regulative one’s decision not to purchase something.
The court in its majority decision stated that the law is constitutional because it is regulating the market of self-insurance where individuals try to insure themselves instead of buying into a large pool of insurance. This in turn does affect interstate commerce by shifting the burden of cost to those that are insured, which the government can regulate.
The judges supported their claim by citing a 1942 supreme court case in which a farmer from Ohio grew and consumed his own wheat, instead of purchasing it on the national market. His desicion not to buy on the market thus affected insterstate commerce, giving Congress the authority to regulate his actions under the U.S. constitution.
The Supreme Court will ultimately decide the fate of Obama Care, and the stakes are high going into the 2012 U.S. elections where Supreme Court seats may be left vacant and filled by the winning party’s adminstation, Republican or Democrat, affecting the balance of power on the court which will rule on Obama care.