“I object your honor”

I apologize that I am just now getting to this blog but the “Blizzard of 2011” and it’s aftermath got in the way.  If you have an interest in health care, and if you’re reading this blog you probably do, January 31, 2011 was a historic day.

On January 31, 2011 a federal judge in Florida ruled the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to be unconstitutional.  The judge stated that Congress had “exceeded the bounds of its authority” by including the provision.  The judge also concluded that because the individual mandate is “unconstitutional and not severable,” the entire Affordable Care Act is void.

I really hope this challenge to the health care reform law is as interesting to you as it is to me because I’m fascinated to see where it goes and it will certainly be the topic of many blogs to come. 

Just to refresh your memory, the “individual mandate” is the requirement that all Americans have some type of health care coverage.  For those individuals who do not participate in a group plan or are not covered by one of the federal programs like Medicare or Medicaid, they will be required to purchase health care coverage. 

The requirement to force Americans to purchase coverage is at the heart of the issue.  We American’s pride ourselves on our freedom and we don’t like anyone telling us what we have to do and how we have to spend our money.  We like the freedom to make decisions even if the decisions we make are stupid.

I’ll be interested to see if the challenge of the health care reform law ends up in front of the Supreme Court.  My guess is it will.  The role of the Supreme Court is to interpret the constitutionality of the laws that affect us. 

There are now 25 states bringing suit against the federal government claiming that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.  To date, four trial courts have ruled on the constitutionality of the individual mandate and two of the four have found it unconstitutional. 

Prepare yourself for one of the most publicised and hotly debated legal battles in recent memory if the question of the individual mandate ends up in front of the Supreme Court.  We are still months, if not years, away from the Supreme Court getting involved. 

If in fact the Supreme Court does get to rule on the Affordable Care Act, and they find it unconstitutional, it could rock our entire legal system and process.

Stay tuned, I’ll keep providing updates.  It could get interesting!

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Executive Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. At GVMH we care for our families, friends and neighbors. We're committed to providing the safest, friendliest and most compassionate care to all we serve.
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