Topeka Top Kansas officials praised a federal appeals court ruling that struck down a key part of President Barack Obama’s health reform law.
“The decision confirms what I have believed all along, that Congress does not have the power to compel Kansans to participate in health care finance schemes against their will,” Gov. Sam Brownback said.
The Atlanta-based 11th Court of Appeals ruled that a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that requires people have health insurance or face penalties was unconstitutional. Kansas was one of the 26 states that joined the legal challenge.
Brownback noted that as a U.S. senator he voted against the law, and as governor he signed into law a bill that supporters say will prevent Kansans from being required to have insurance. He also noted that this week he rejected a $31.5 million grant to set up another provision of the law: health insurance exchanges.
In addition, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, a plastic surgeon, and Attorney General Derek Schmidt supported the court decision.
“As a doctor, I can tell you that President Obama’s health care law will not improve the health of Kansans,” Colyer said. “We applaud the appeals court decision and we will continue to look for Kansas solutions for Kansas citizens.”
Schmidt said the appeals court ruling tees up the final decision on the law for the U.S. Supreme Court. An Ohio appeals court had ruled that the law was constitutional.
“The Constitution created a federal government of limited, enumerated powers and did not grant to the federal government an unlimited general police power to do whatever it wishes,” Schmidt said.
“While today’s decision is not the final word on the subject, our victory today makes Supreme Court review of the law almost certain. We will continue our strong advocacy for limited, constitutional government,” he said.