The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case this week. The lower court ruled not only that the mandate is unconstitutional, but also that it can’t be separated from the rest of the law.
Opponents of the mandate argue that Congress can regulate the economic activities in which people choose to participate, but can’t mandate that participation. Supporters say the coverage mandate simply regulates how people will pay for the healthcare services that almost everyone will use at some point.
“There is no constitutionally protected right to freeload that is infringed by the individual responsibility aspect of the minimum coverage provision,” the state lawmakers wrote in their brief.