This just in: A federal judge in Detroit Thursday afternoon rejected a request for a preliminary injunction to halt the health-care overhaul signed into law by President Obama back in March.
In his 20-page opinion, Judge George Caram Steeh upheld the constitutionality of the law, finding that Congress possesses the authority under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause to require that every American purchase health insurance. Click here for the Bloomberg report; here for the opinion; here for other LB coverage of challenges to the health-care law.
Steeh’s analysis under the Commerce Clause was broken into two parts. First, he found that the economic decisions that the Act regulates as to how to pay for health care services affect the interstate health care market. He wrote:
decisions to forego insurance coverage in preference to attempting to pay for health care out of pocket drive up the cost of insurance. The costs of caring for the uninsured who prove unable to pay are shifted to health care providers, to the insured population in the form of higher premiums, to governments, and to taxpayers. . . . These decisions, viewed in the aggregate, have clear and direct impacts on health care providers, taxpayers, and the insured population who ultimately pay for the care provided to those who go without insurance.
Next Steeh found that the individual mandate, the provision that requires everyone to have health coverage, was essential to the act’s larger goal of regulating “the interstate business of health insurance.
Justice Steven Breyer