BREAKING: Virginia judge rules health care mandate unconstitutional
December 13th, 2010
12:06 PM ET
9 years ago

BREAKING: Virginia judge rules health care mandate unconstitutional

(CNN) - A Virginia federal judge on Monday found a key part of President Barack Obama's sweeping health care reform law unconstitutional - setting the stage for a protracted legal struggle likely to wind up in the Supreme Court.

U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson struck down the "individual mandate" requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014. The Justice Department is expected to challenge the judge's findings in a federal appeals court.

The case is Virginia v. Sebelius. See the ruling here.
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Filed under: Health care • President Obama • Virginia
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. Realistic

    ***This is the first federal court to strike down the law, contradicting other recent rulings the law was permissible**Now watch all the republican loons go crazy. They will forget that there has been other ruling in favor of the law. One federal judge does not end the Healthcare debate. SCOTUS here we come...Oh boy.

    December 13, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Amanda

    So, it is illegal to mandate that Americans buy Health Insurance?

    Then it should also be illegal to mandate Americans buy Auto Insurance also.

    December 13, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. yes

    Thank you! You cannot FORCE people to buy something or threaten them with fines or prison. It's unconstitutional. If people had the money for health care, THEY WOULD ALREADY BE GETTING IT! Few people, if anyone, want to be uninsured. I've been uninsured for a few years now, and while I WISH I could have health care, I simply cannot afford it, whatever the cost may be. If you say I *have* to buy health care, then fine, but I won't be able to eat, in which case I guess I should be glad I finally had health care so I could go to the hospital to die of malnutrition....

    December 13, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. Shari from Madison

    Of course, republican's are going to be jumping for joy at this as they would rather see people who can't afford to pay for health inusrance be without it. They don't care how many families will go bankrupt because of unforseen medical expenses. All they care about is their own health. Heaven forbid that we would start making them pay for their own coverage! Republican's already have been treating the rest of us as hostages to whatever they want!

    December 13, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. GL

    We all know this judge is a Republican. Republicans feel strong about not helping the misforturne, but run around calling themself christians.

    December 13, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. James

    I wonder how big of a Christmas bonus the Republicans promised their flunkie judge to end up with this decision?

    December 13, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I guess people don't want everyone to have a chance to have medical coverage. I would hope that people understand what this medical/health law does. I would like to see my kids covered if they can't find a job since I have medical coverage from my employer.

    December 13, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. Thank God. But...

    ...why they don't fast-track this to the SCOTUS is beyond me.

    December 13, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. Palin Power

    We need President Palin to repeal this heatlhcare bill for it is communist, socialist and UNAMERICAN! Government has NO place in healthcare and reforming our system is anti-American to the very core. Our current system is the best in the world and needs no changes whatsoever.

    December 13, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. GL

    Why do this article leave out the most important part that the judge is a Republican and that why they rejected it.

    December 13, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Dave

    I'm already forced to buy car insurance, and I already buy health insurance voluntarily. What's the problem?

    December 13, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. Positive

    Stop the fighting American. We need to bond together to make this a better place for one and all. Everyone shoud pay into
    the system in order to make it affordable. Sarah Plalin is an opportunist. We from the churches packed and fund the
    gift boxes for the poor children of the World. We are sent those boxes not her. If she really want to help she should
    do her own charity. Mr. Graham we are ashame of you using our money and gift to help this woman political Agenda.
    Why is she in the news for so long. America would really want this woman to be Priesident. the World would not listen to her. All these World leader who not deal with her she is too stupid. She knows that she is not worthy and is just riding the Media for as long as they will go along with her. Stop it now all you media fools.

    December 13, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. Marty, FL

    A Republican judge rules for a partisan position taken by his own party against our health-care. Not surprising.
    The real irony is that the mandate is actually a conservative idea originally included in the GOP health plan in 1993 and in Romney-care. Ah, the personal responsibility of politics.

    December 13, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. Wv6324

    I have mixed feelings about this. Obama wants everybody to have insurance so we all can have access to affordable healthcare. On the other hand why should I be forced to buy health insurance? Why doesn't the government look into medical fees and see why they are always on the rise? I'm speaking without much knowledge on medical costs but I do know that a machine like a CT Scanner doesn't increase in value over time. It actually decreases over time. So why did the hospital charge me $6000 for a CT Scan? I don't know but we need to figure this healthcare situation fast.

    December 13, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. soren

    "Then it should also be illegal to mandate Americans buy Auto Insurance also."

    1. I don't think the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT mandate's auto insurance.(I could be wrong)
    2. The state's usually only mandate that you have insurance for damage you cause to others.

    December 13, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  16. Citizenny

    Great news! Nobody should be mandated to buy health insurance or get fined....

    And for those of you who compare it to auto insurance: If you don't want to purchase auto insurance, then don't buy a car!

    December 13, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. Me

    The Party of No at it again! Sorry, but this Judge just bit off more than he can possible chew. It is clear that the majority of Americans want the Health Care Bill. This ruling will be overturned. Thanks Judge, for wasting more tax payers money on this frivilous manuer, ugh I mean manuver. How much did you get in 'contributions" to make this happen?

    FYI folks on the Right – We're not fooled.

    December 13, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Donna

    "Amanda
    So, it is illegal to mandate that Americans buy Health Insurance?
    Then it should also be illegal to mandate Americans buy Auto Insurance also."

    It's not illegal to NOT buy auto insurance. You can drive without it, you have to pay a fine if you do and get caught. First rule of effective debating – Get your facts straight.

    December 13, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. Garth

    Amanda – two things. The federal government does not mandate that you buy car insurance. And the state only mandates it if you are going to drive a car. So it can not be compared to health insurance.

    December 13, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. Bobby

    Good point about the auto insurance... Republicans use laws to make money and claim they want small government.

    December 13, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  21. EdD P

    If the mandate is illegal, doesn't this mean all mandates are illegal?

    So, when the NYC gov't tells me I am responsible for shoveling the snow on the sidewalk in front of the house, the sidewalk I DO NOT own, this is a mandate, and cannot be enforced. Cause a mandate is more then being forced to spend money, right?

    December 13, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  22. Terry

    The problem is, what do u do to those folks who can't or dont buy health insurance. What about there kids. The democrats gives them free money for it. U don't have to have car insurance. If u have car u must.

    December 13, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. GL

    There goes all the HEARTLESS REPUBLICANS commenting on this article, but they fail to realize there were many Federal judges for it. I hope the American people for the next two years see just how HEARTLESS the Republicans party is. No help for the poor just laid down and die.

    December 13, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  24. John

    @ Amanda. Pretty sure thats not the case. Having basic auto insurance protects John Doe when you smack into the back of his car. Theres a simple difference between the two. Yeah granted we are the fattest people on earth as a whole, but guess whos going to be paying the fine for not having health care. Yeah thats right, the same people Obamacare is "suppose to be helping." Plus the IRS cant even do there job correctly. So add this huge task, too there already long list of duties, it just cant be done

    December 13, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  25. QAZ

    No surprise – and it should be struck down. Why _must_ i buy a product to simply "be"?
    The above is considered unconstitutional

    Why must I subsidize others who cannot afford to buy their own goods?
    The above _should_ be considered unconstitutional.

    December 13, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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