WASHINGTON (BP)–A federal appeals court struck down a critical part of the new federal health care law Friday, marking the first time an appellate court ruled against it and moving the suit a step closer to the Supreme Court.
In a 2-1 ruling, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law’s individual mandate, which requires that all Americans buy health insurance. The panel said the rest of the law can remain intact, including the law’s allowance of government money to subsidize insurance plans that cover abortions.
Many observers say the law cannot survive financially without the individual mandate.
“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 panel ruled, according to the Associated Press.
The case involves 26 states who sued to overturn the law.
The ruling could be appealed to the full 11th Circuit or to the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Friday that Ohio voters can vote Nov. 8 on an amendment to the state constitution blocking enforcing of the individual mandate. A group had sued to keep the amendment off the ballot.
Critics call the federal law “Obamacare.”
Compiled by Michael Foust, associate editor of Baptist Press.