When Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli requested the Supreme Court expedite review of Virginia’s lawsuit against Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Health Care Act, it was intended to avoid states, not only Virginia, from spending huge sums of money to implement their portions of the law while waiting for the high court to rule. Ultimately the Supreme Court chose to allow the litany of cases making their way through the lower courts to proceed, delaying the final decision of cases that will certainly fall in their lap.

In the interim, employees, businesses and states are held in limbo unable to predict with certainty what their health related expenses will be in 2014 when the law is fully implemented. For businesses, this is a certain job-killer, as health care costs make up a significant portion of employer expenses. Much of the money currently being spent by states can never be recouped, and, in the end, will fall upon taxpayers.

Today the situation became even muddier as the when a federal appeals court affirmed that Congress can require Americans to have minimum insurance coverage.

250px-US-CourtOfAppeals-6thCircuit-SealToday’s ruling was neither shocking nor related to the suits filed by over 20 states or the case Ken Cuccinelli had pleaded with the court to expedite. The Thomas More Law Center, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., argued before the three-judge 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel that the law was unconstitutional and that Congress overstepped its powers.

In the panel’s decision, they wrote, "Congress had a rational basis for concluding that the minimum coverage provision is essential to the Affordable Care Act’s larger reforms to the national markets in health care delivery and health insurance." The decision was written by Judge Boyce F. Martin, appointed by former President Jimmy Carter, however the decision was not unanimous, further clouding a murky matter that demands attention from the Supreme Court. The ruling was 2 in favor of up upholding the lower court’s decision and 1 in opposition.

Surprisingly, a judge appointed by George W. Bush agreed, while the lone dissenter was a Ronald Reagan appointee. It’s likely that a request for full circuit court review will be submitted by the plaintiffs unless the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case.

Not to miss an opportunity to gloat, the White House posted online: "Today the Affordable Care Act, and the millions of Americans and small businesses benefitting from it scored another victory when the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the law is constitutional. We’re gratified by today’s ruling, which came from judges appointed by Democratic and Republican presidents who agreed that the law’s individual responsibility provision (sometimes called the minimum coverage provision) is constitutional."

The Justice Department, which should be focused on protecting the rights of all citizens and facing more than 30 suits against the law, reiterated it will "vigorously defend the health care reform statue in any litigation challenging it."

While the administration and various support groups take a victory lap, they may wish to look in their mirrors. More than 20 states will also “vigorously” proceed against the law and Virginia’s Cuccinelli is more focused than ever.

Sadly, the millions being spent to both challenge and defend the law will be a total waste of taxpayer dollars. The Supreme Court will decide this matter and every suit and appeal that has gone before will have served no purpose; all this will come down to whether the federal government can mandate the purchase of a product or service. While state’s can require you to carry automobile insurance to use their roads and to hold a license to drive, never has the federal government been able to tell the citizens that they must purchase something or be fined. It’s a very slippery slope that the high court is very unlikely to find is amongst the powers granted by the Constitution. Until then, businesses will hold their breath and their payrolls, insurance companies will continue to raise rates to prepare for all possibilities, lawyers will get rich and the taxpayers, as always, will get the shaft.