government

Va. judge finds health insurance mandates unconstitutional

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 20, 2010

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A federal judge in Richmond, Va., has ruled that the part of the health system reform law on health insurance mandates is unconstitutional. This is the first ruling against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In a ruling issued Dec. 13, U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson said the Constitution does not give Congress the authority to require that all citizens obtain health insurance, a key component of the reform law (link).

The decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by the state of Virginia and is one of many across the country challenging the law. Judges have granted the government's motion to dismiss 12 of the cases, and two judges upheld the law's insurance mandates as constitutional. Several lawsuits are pending, including a suit with at least 20 states as plaintiffs.

The Dept. of Justice is considering its appeal options in the Virginia case, according to the White House.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/12/20/gvbf1220.htm.

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