Health Law

Federal Judge Strikes Health Care Reform Act, Calls Insurance-Purchase Mandate Unconstitutional


Finding that an unconstitutional provision requiring most individuals to purchase insurance is central to the entire Health Care Reform Act championed by the Obama administration, a federal judge in Florida struck down the entire statute today.

“Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications,” writes U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson in his opinion. He found that the insurance-purchase requirement violates the commerce clause of the U.S. constitution, Bloomberg reports.

Although the case is one of a number of lawsuits on the subject of health-care reform, it is particularly high-profile because a total of 25 states have now joined in the litigation initially brought by Florida’s attorney general, explains Politico.

The constitutionality of the statute is expected to be finally decided in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Articles in the New York Times (reg. req.) and the Wall Street Journal provide additional details about the Northern District of Florida ruling today.

Related coverage:

ABA Journal: “With the High Court in Mind, Challenges to the Health Bill Move Ahead”

ABAJournal.com: “Federal Judge Green-Lights Challenge to Health Care Reform Act”

Political Hotsheet (CBS News): “44 GOP Senators Sponsor Health Care Repeal Bill”

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