What a long, strange trip it’s been.
By **Wendell Potter**
The 11th U.S. Court of Appeals declared a key part of Obama’s healthcare plan unconstitutional on Friday. From the ruling: “[T]his Court strikes down as unconstitutional a central piece of a comprehensive economic regulatory scheme enacted by Congress. The majority concludes that Congress does not have the commerce power to require uninsured Americans to obtain health insurance or otherwise pay a financial penalty.” We asked Guernica interviewee and former mouthpiece for Cigna to help us put the ruling in perspective.
The ruling represents just another step on the way to the Supreme Court for the health care law. It is clear that judges across the country are deeply and philosophically divided on the law, in particular the individual mandate. If there is an emerging consensus among the judges so far, it appears to be that the only part of the law in real dispute now is the mandate to buy coverage. So even it that provision is ultimately struck down, the rest of the act would remain law.
Wendell Potter is the former head of corporate communications at Cigna. Since then, Potter has become an outspoken advocate for healthcare reform.