Health care reform legislation lost a significant court battle Monday when a U.S. District Court judge in Florida ruled that the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is void after finding that the portion of the law that requires people to buy health insurance is unconstitutional.
CNBC reports the judge ruled that the law, which would require people to buy insurance or face a penalty starting in 2014, went too far. The judge wrote:
“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.”
The White House has said it will appeal the judge’s decision in the case, which represents governors and attorneys general from 26 states. There are other lawsuits regarding the health care bill that have been filed by Virginia and Oklahoma.
It’s believed that the legal battle over the bill will likely go to the Supreme Court.
The judge’s ruling is enforceable only in the territory governed by the federal courts of Florida’s northern district, which includes Pensacola, Gainesville and Tallahassee. However, it does give strength to arguments by those opposing the legislation.
The Florida judge is the fourth court ruling on the bill. Two of the courts upheld the legislation while a third judge in Virginia voided only the section on mandatory coverage.
How do you feel about health care reform and the judge’s decision?