Atlanta court rules individual mandate unconstitutional

Which further improves the argument as it heads to the Supreme Court.

Watch Google News for a bit. I’ll have links up soon.


  1. One very important clarification…. in this court, the mandate was found unconstitutional, but every other part of the Health Care law was allowed to stand.

    This is in contradistinction to the judge in Florida, who ruled that the individual mandate was unconstitutional and therefore the entire law, all 2000+ pages of it, must be tossed out as well.

    There’s 2 ways to look at it… in terms of political symbolism, it is a big blow to Obama if any aspect of the law is found unconstitutional. But if the Supreme Court found the same as this court did, while there would be political ramifications, the practical reality would not change at all. All of the regulations and taxes and fees and burdens of Obamacare would remain. The only difference is that instead of having a very weak individual mandate, there is no mandate. All that does is drive health premium rates up even higher because only the least healthy folks will even bother to buy health insurance.

  2. The practical reality would be the law is no longer viable without the mandate. They’d have to figure something out. And yes, costs would be even higher.

  3. The more I think of it, the more I think this is how SCOTUS will rule. They will strike down the mandate, but nothing else. The appellate court even severed the mandate from two clauses dealing specifically with insurance. For the most part, today was a victory for Obamacare supporters.

  4. “The practical reality would be the law is no longer viable without the mandate.”

    I’ve heard folks in the health insurance industry who know far better than I and are very connected with the political aspects talk about this scenario. Nothing would change. The mandate is so weak (tiny fines and won’t be enforced) that it is essentially worthless anyway.

    I agree with KPOM… the fact that the Atlanta court did not agree with the Florida court that the entirety of Obamacare should be made null and void is really a victory for the left.

    Here’s my speculation for what the Supreme Court will do:

    1) 30% chance – Obamacare is completely constitutional
    2) 50% chance – Same as Atlanta court…. individual mandate is unconstitutional, but only that small sliver of the bill is affected
    3) 5% chance – All of Obamacare is void
    4) 15% chance – Something between 2 and 3. For example, maybe all of Article 1 (the section of the bill with the individual mandate) is struck down.

  5. And the man runs the numbers…

    You know, I should be used to this. After all, I married an accountant. Not quite as hard-core as an actuary, but close enough he has his own jokes. 😉