The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the constitutionality of the President’s Health Plan called Obamacare.  The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that mandatory laws requiring citizens to purchase health insurance was unconstitutional.   It is almost certain that this issue will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court before next year’s presidential election.

The 11th. Circuit reasoned that “ what Congress cannot do … is mandate that individuals enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product”.  

   If the U.S. Supreme Court (which has a conservative majority) buys this argument of the 11th. Circuit, then we would submit that state laws which mandate that all motorists purchase insurance from private insurance companies would also be unconstitutional.

  The Kentucky Motor Vehicle Reparations Act found in KRS Chapter 304 requires that everyone who operates a motor vehicle in Kentucky must purchase from a private company a liability insurance policy.  Similar statutes apply to motorists in all states.

KRS  304.39-090 Required security.

An owner of a motor vehicle registered in this Commonwealth who ceases to maintain security as required by the provisions on security may not operate or permit operation of the vehicle in this Commonwealth until security has again been provided as required by this subtitle. An owner who fails to maintain security as required by this subtitle shall have his or her motor vehicle registration revoked in accordance with KRS 186A.040. All other owners shall provide such security while operating a motor vehicle in this Commonwealth.   Effective: July 15, 1998

   The Legislative policy which explains why mandatory motorist’s insurance is required is stated in KRS 304.39-010.  This legislative policy statement in the Kentucky MVRA is justified in language similar to language found in the Federal Health Care act called Obamacare.

KRS  304.39-010 Policy and purpose.


The toll of about 20,000,000 motor vehicle accidents nationally and comparable experience in Kentucky upon the interests of victims, the public, policyholders and others require that improvements in the reparations provided for herein be adopted to effect the following purposes:

(1) To require owners, registrants and operators of motor vehicles in the Commonwealth to procure insurance covering basic reparation benefits and legal liability arising out of ownership, operation or use of such motor vehicles;

(2) To provide prompt payment to victims of motor vehicle accidents without regard to whose negligence caused the accident in order to eliminate the inequities which fault-determination has created;

(3) To encourage prompt medical treatment and rehabilitation of the motor vehicle accident victim by providing for prompt payment of needed medical care and rehabilitation;

(4) To permit more liberal wage loss and medical benefits by allowing claims for intangible loss only when their determination is reasonable and appropriate;

(5) To reduce the need to resort to bargaining and litigation through a system which can pay victims of motor vehicle accidents without the delay, expense, aggravation, inconvenience, inequities and uncertainties of the liability system;

(6) To help guarantee the continued availability of motor vehicle insurance at reasonable prices by a more efficient, economical and equitable system of motor vehicle accident reparations;

(7) To create an insurance system which can more adequately be regulated; and

(8) To correct the inadequacies of the present reparation system, recognizing that it was devised and our present Constitution adopted prior to the development of the internal combustion motor vehicle.  Effective: July 1, 1975

     The Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to regulate Interstate Commerce.

The Commerce Clause is an enumerated power listed in the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3). The clause states that the United States Congress shall have power “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes”. Courts and commentators have tended to discuss each of these three areas of commerce as a separate power granted to Congress. It is common to see the Commerce Clause referred to as “the Foreign Commerce Clause“, “the Interstate Commerce Clause“, and “the Indian Commerce Clause“, each of which refers to a different application of the same sentence in the Constitution.

   The Commerce Clause represents one of the most fundamental powers delegated to the Congress by the founders. The outer limits of the Interstate Commerce Clause power has been the subject of long, intense political controversy. Interpretation of the sixteen words of the Commerce Clause has helped define the balance of power between the federal government and the states and the balance of power between the two elected branches of the Federal government and the Judiciary. As such, it has a direct impact on the lives of American citizens.

  The “New Deal Court” drastically changed the focus of the Court’s inquiry in determining whether legislation fell within the scope of the Commerce Clause, and in some sense returned to the concept articulated in Gibbons. Central to this theory was the belief that the democratic process was sufficient to confine the legislative power. Thus one of the central issues was whether the judiciary or the elected representatives of the people should decide what commerce is. The Court began to defer to the Congress on the theory that determining whether legislation impacted commerce appropriately was a legislative, not a judicial decision. The debate over Commerce Clause jurisprudence thus includes philosophic differences over whether Congressional abuse of the Commerce Clause is best redressed at the ballot box or in the Federal courts.

   When examining whether some activity was considered “Commerce” under the Constitution, the Court would aggregate the total effect the activity would have on actual economic commerce. Intrastate activities could fall within the scope of the Commerce Clause, if those activities would have any rational effect on Interstate Commerce. Finally, in United States v. Darby Lumber Co., 312 U.S. 100 (1941), the Court said the 10th Amendment “is but a truism” and was not considered to be an independent limitation on Congressional power.[citation needed]

   In 1941 the Court upheld the Fair Labor Standards Act which regulated the production of goods shipped across state lines. In 1942, in Wickard v. Filburn, the Court upheld the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, which sought to stabilize wide fluctuations in the market price for wheat by stabilizing supply through quotas.

    The Court’s decision rejected former decisions that seemed to focus on “Whether the subject of the regulation in question was production, consumption, or marketing. Those formalistic characterizations were not material for purposes of deciding the question of federal power before us. That an activity: is of local character may help in a doubtful case to determine whether Congress intended to reach it…. But even if appellee’s activity be local and though it may not be regarded as commerce, it may still, whatever its nature, be reached by Congress if it exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce and this irrespective of whether such effect is what might at some earlier time have been defined as ‘direct’ or ‘indirect.

   If the Supreme Court upholds the 11th.Circuit Ruling, then it is reasonable to assume that further attacks on Federal and State powers to mandate the purchase of insurance will soon follow. and the rights of Congress to regulate Commerce will be in jeopardy.

The 11th. Circuit’s Ruling on Health Law


Insurance mandate exceeds federal powers  – WatertownDailyTimes.com



A federal appellate court struck at the core of the national health care law in the latest court ruling declaring the centerpiece of the law to be unconstitutional.

The Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with 26 states in a 2-1 ruling that the mandate requiring all Americans to purchase insurance was an “unprecedented” expansion of federal power, specifically its power to regulate interstate commerce.

Both sides of the national debate agree that the individual mandate, which is meant to bring (or force) more people into the insurance pool to spread the costs of other provisions, such as requiring insurers to cover everyone, including those with pre-existing health conditions. Without the mandate, backers say, people would wait until they needed insurance to obtain it and could then drop out afterward. It would also shift costs disproportionately to those who choose to have insurance.

The two-judge majority agreed that the government had the power to confront the problem of nearly 50 million uninsured Americans, but “what Congress cannot do … 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 mandate, the judges said, “is breathtaking in its expansive scope.”

“Even in the face of a Great Depression, a World War, a Cold War, recessions, oil shocks, inflation, and unemployment, Congress never sought to require the purchase of wheat or war bonds, or require every American to purchase a more fuel efficient vehicle,” the court said.

The majority said the individual mandate “represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority.” Indeed, its rationale would mean unlimited power of the government to regulate individual economic decisions in almost any endeavor.

The ruling was a partial victory for both sides with the court leaving the rest of the law in place. Opponents had sought to have the entire Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional.

It is just the latest in a number of conflicting court rulings on the mandate with cases still before three other federal appellate courts, ensuring the Supreme Court will ultimately decide the law’s constitutionality, possibly as early as next year. The individual mandate does not take effect until 2014, but a decision is needed well before that as the administration moves forward implementing the law.

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