government

Virginia judge throws out health reform lawsuit

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 13, 2010

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A federal judge in Lynchburg, Va., has dismissed a lawsuit that Liberty University filed against the government's health reform mandate, ruling that Congress operated under its proper authority.

The complaint, filed this year, argued that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional and would force the funding of abortions.

U.S. District Judge Norman K. Moon disagreed, saying that Congress acted in accordance with its delegated powers under the Commerce Clause when it approved coverage provisions of the act. The Commerce Clause refers to the constitutional article giving Congress power to regulate commerce among the states.

Moon said the plaintiffs failed to show how any payments under the law would be used to fund abortion. "The act contains strict safeguards at multiple levels to prevent federal funds from being used to pay for abortion services," the judge wrote.

The lawsuit was one of several challenging the health reform law. A similar Michigan lawsuit was dismissed in October. Suits in Florida and Richmond, Va., have been permitted to proceed.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/12/13/gvbf1213.htm.

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