White House strikes back against health care ruling

C.J. Ciaramella Contributor
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The White House wasted no time before it denounced Friday’s federal court decision that the individual mandate portion of President Obama’s much-touted health care reform law is unconstitutional.

The United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled today that the individual mandate is an unconstitutional extension of power by Congress. (RELATED: Court of Appeals strikes down Obamacare individual mandate)

The court ruled only on the individual mandate, leaving constitutional questions about the rest of the law unanswered.

Writing on the White House blog, Obama adviser Stephanie Cutter responded with the administration’s position: “We strongly disagree with this decision and we are confident it will not stand.”

“The individual responsibility provision — the main part of the law at issue in these cases — is constitutional,” Cutter continued. “Those who claim this provision exceeds Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce are incorrect.

“Individuals who choose to go without health insurance are making an economic decision that affects all of us — when people without insurance obtain health care they cannot pay for, those with insurance and taxpayers are often left to pick up the tab.”

Cutter notes on the White House blog that four other courts have upheld the law. Today’s ruling, however, marked the first time that a Democrat-appointed judge has ruled against Obama’s health care law — one of the centerpieces of his legislative agenda.

It is widely expected that the Supreme Court will ultimately rule on the law’s constitutionality.