Flashback: Pelosi on Obamacare's Constitutionality: ‘Are You Serious?'

Matt Cover and Michael W. Chapman | August 12, 2011 | 3:24pm EDT
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Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) AP Photo

(CNSNews.com) – While a federal appeals court ruled today that the mandate in Obamacare requiring individuals to purchase health insurance was unconstitutional, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in 2009 dismissed a question about Congress’ constitutional authority to impose the mandate, remarking, “Are you serious? Are you serious?”

At the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 22, 2009, CNSNews.com asked then-Speaker Pelosi, Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?”

Pelosi said: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”

Her spokesman, Nadeam Elshami then told this news agency, “You can put this on the record. That is not a serious question. That is not a serious question.”

In today’s ruling, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, in Atlanta, stated: “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.”

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