The members of a 3-judge panel at the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled 2-1 that the minimum individual health coverage ownership provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) is constitutional.
One judge on the panel – Senior Circuit Judge Harry Edwards – dissented, arguing that the federal Anti-Injunction Act prohibits the federal courts from considering suits seeking to block implementation of new federal taxes.
The court issued the ruling in connection with Susan Seven-Sky et al. vs. Eric H. Holder Jr. et al. (Number 11-5047).
The plaintiffs in the case were trying to persuade the court that the PPACA minimum essential coverage provision, which is supposed to require most individuals to have a major medical coverage or else pay a penalty, is unconstitutional and represents an abuse of the commerce clause in the U.S. Constitution.
The clause gives Congress the authority to pass laws regulating commercial activity.
The Susan Seven-Sky plaintiffs argue that the clause does not give Congress the authority to require commercial activity, such as active moves to buy commercial products from for-profit companies.