A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, ruling that the measure is indeed constitutional.
Liberty University, a Christian university founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, attacked the mandate on two grounds: that it exceeds Congress’s constitutional authority to levy taxes and that it violates religious freedoms.
The 4th Circuit rejected both of those arguments, however. On the first count, the court ruled that the mandate is permitted by the Commerce Clause, since Congress has a “rational basis for finding that employers’ provision of health insurance coverage substantially affects interstate commerce.”
As for the religious freedom argument, the appeals court said that there was no “plausible claim that the act substantially burdens [Liberty’s] free exercise of religion,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Liberty had also challenged the mandate’s requirement that employers provide contraception coverage as part of their health insurance plans, but the 4th Circuit declined to rule on that claim on procedural grounds.
For more InsideCounsel coverage healthcare reform, see: