This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.
Well, is it or isn’t it?
The question of whether the federal health care insurance mandate is constitutional is all but certain now to go where everyone knew it would eventually – the U.S. Supreme Court.
The mandate for all Americans with taxable income to purchase at least minimal health insurance by 2014 is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act approved by Congress in 2010. It has been challenged by 26 Republican attorneys general – including Washington’s Rob McKenna.
Two federal appeals court panels have ruled on it: The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel (Florida, Georgia and Alabama) struck down the mandate as unconstitutional but upheld the rest of the law while the 6th Circuit panel based in Ohio upheld the law and the mandate. With two federal courts ruling in opposite ways, the mandate was going to get to the Supreme Court eventually. But separate requests from both the Obama administration and the AGs have speeded up the process. Read more »