Florida judge rules health care law unconstitutional

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson in Florida ruled the national health care law unconstitutional Monday, agreeing with 26 states who argued Americans cannot be required to purchase health insurance, also known as the “individual mandate.” A federal judge in Virginia has also declared the law unconstitutional, while two other judges have ruled the opposite. The disagreement in the courts likely means a final decision will come from the U.S. Supreme Court. Here’s what Judge Vinson wrote:

I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and inequities in our health care system. 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. At a time when there is virtually unanimous agreement that health care reform is needed in this country, it is hard to invalidate and strike down a statute titled ‘The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.’

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