Media Advisory: Heartland Institute Statement on Today’s Obamacare Hearing in Federal Court

Published May 10, 2011

A three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals today heard arguments in lawsuits against President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. The lawsuits claim the mandate to buy health insurance is unconstitutional.

The following statements by health care and legal experts at the Chicago-based Heartland Institute may be used for attribution. For more comments, see the contact information below.

“What is at stake in the courtroom today is whether America will continue to enjoy the most advanced, cutting-edge health care in the world, as part of our world-leading standard of living, or whether we will lose that to post office-standard health care.

“What is at stake is whether you and your doctors will have control over your health care, or Kathleen Sebelius instead.

“What is at stake is when you or your loved ones need the best possible health care to save your very lives, whether that will even be available any more.”

Peter Ferrara
Senior Fellow for Entitlement and Budget Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

(Mr. Ferrara is the author of The Obamacare Disaster, available from The Heartland Institute, and America’s Ticking Bankruptcy Bomb, available from HarperCollins in June.)

“Think of today’s oral arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals – and, for that matter, the upcoming one in the Eleventh Circuit – in the context of the baseball season now underway. The World Series is in the distant future, so whether or not your team wins tonight really doesn’t matter all that much in the long run.

“We won’t know whether the Commonwealth of Virginia and Liberty University ‘win’ their separate oral arguments today or whether the federal government does. That won’t be known until the three-judge panel in the Fourth Circuit issues its written opinion. That may take months.

“Then the losing side has the right to ask for a rehearing en banc by the entire Fourth Circuit appellate bench. Such rehearings are rarely granted, but given the importance of these cases, rehearing might actually happen.

“Thereafter, the losing side has the right to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the appellate ruling. And meanwhile, about 25 other Obamacare challenge cases are percolating through the courts.
“Whichever side ‘wins’ today in the Fourth Circuit – and the only way to know who won is to interpret the panel judges’ questions – it’s way too early in the judicial process for a victory lap.”

Maureen Martin
Senior Fellow for Legal Affairs
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]
920/ 295-6032

The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago and Washington, DC. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site at or call 312/377-4000.