Navigation Links
Fla. Federal Judge: Health Reform Law Is Unconstitutional

By Karen Pallarito
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- A federal judge in Florida ruled Monday that the controversial health-care reform law passed by Congress last spring is unconstitutional because it requires people to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty.

"I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the act with the individual mandate," wrote U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, becoming the second federal judge to rule against the law signed by President Barack Obama in March, USA Today reported.

The law's constitutionality is expected to ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Florida court case marked the largest challenge so far to the health-reform law, including governors and attorneys general from 26 states opposed to the legislation.

Two other federal courts have upheld the constitutionality of the law -- a centerpiece of President Barack Obama's first two years in office and the first significant overhaul of the nation's health-care system in decades. It also pitted Democrats, who backed the reform for the most part, against Republicans, who opposed it.

Vinson had indicated in the past that he would likely rule that the so-called individual mandate overstepped constitutional limits on federal authority. "The power that the individual mandate seeks to harness is simply without prior precedent," Vinson wrote in an earlier opinion in October, the Wall Street Journal reported.

On Dec. 13, a federal judge in Virginia sided with that state's attorney general, who contended that the individual insurance mandate -- to take effect in 2014 -- violated the Constitution, making it the first successful challenge to the legislation.

The dispute over the constitutionality of the insurance mandate is similar to arguments in about two dozen health-care reform lawsuits that have been filed across the country, according to

What made the Florida case different was that the lawsuit had been filed on behalf of more than 20 states.

The federal government contends that Congress was within its legal rights when it passed Obama's signature legislative goal in March. The U.S. Justice Department said the insurance mandate falls within the scope of the federal government's authority under the Commerce Clause.

White House officials have said in the past that a negative ruling would not affect the law's implementation because its major provisions don't take effect until 2014.

By 2019, the law, unless changed, will expand health insurance access to 94 percent of non-elderly Americans.

Florida's former attorney general, Bill McCollum, a Republican, filed the lawsuit minutes after Obama signed the 10-year, $938 billion health-care reform bill into law on March 23, 2010. He chose a court in Pensacola, one of Florida's most conservative cities, the Associated Press reported.

Other states that joined the lawsuit were: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming, the AP said.

More information

To learn more about the impact of the Affordable Care Act, visit this U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Web site.

SOURCES: Associated Press; USA Today;; Wall Street Journal; ABC News

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Federal Recovery Funds Allow Eries Shriners Hospital to Reduce Energy Costs, Invest Savings in Patient Care
2. NGA Focus on States Health Care Responsibilities Spotlights Need for Congress to Pass Federal Medicaid Relief
3. Federal Government Premium Review Ignores Real Factors Driving Healthcare Costs
4. The Coalition for Vaccine Safety Calls for Congressional Hearings on Federal Agencies Failure to Provide Adequate Safety Research
5. Create new federal center to spur Medicare and Medicaid innovation
6. Experts support new federal center for Medicare and Medicaid innovation
7. Professional Insurance Agents to Hold 2010 Federal Legislative Summit March 17-18
8. Study: Federal funds support health depts., but leadership is key
9. Bipartisan Capitol Hill Media Event: Health Experts, Lawmakers to Urge Federal Government to Fix the Funding Failure for Chronic Viral Hepatitis
10. Executive Order Will In No Way Prevent Federal Funding of Elective Abortion
11. Pew Applauds Federal Grant Program Supporting State Expansion of Evidence-Based Home Visitation
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... ... recently awarded their highest five-star rating to Best Buy Eyeglasses, an ... United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be a purely functional part ... fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of creating an iconic image—like ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is ... herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Austin, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for ... popular and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his ... David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps ... in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... A recent article published June 14 on E Online details ... to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo not only the ... and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills Physicians (BHP) notes ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ANDOVER, Mass. and SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. ... California -based mobile pulmonary function testing company, is now ... portable PFT devices developed by ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. ... PFT testing done in hospital-based labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ... CA , can get any needed testing done in the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... According to a new market ... Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, ... of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts ... market for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. ... by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June 24, ... VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, ... Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As ... Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic counsel ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: