This economic mandate represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority: the ability to compel Americans to purchase an expensive health insurance product they have elected not to buy, and to make them re-purchase that insurance product every month for their entire lives
So reads the majority opinion of a U.S. appeals court decision in Atlanta today, siding with 26 states by ruling unconstitutional Obamacare's individual mandate clause. Interestingly, the court did not overturn Obamacare as a whole, but held the individual mandate severable. This seems contrary to the wording (or omissions) of the law. Nonetheless, the ruling sets up a split on the federal circuit and almost ensures Supreme Court review.
The next Supreme Court term runs from October 2011 - June 2012. Obamacare is thus poised as a key issue for the 2012 election.