BREAKING: Virginia judge rules health care mandate unconstitutional
December 13th, 2010
12:06 PM ET
11 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. mishkin

    For all those people who are "forced to buy car insurance"...be aware that no one is forcing you to buy a car. Hence the difference.

    December 13, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  2. Woody Floria

    Ive read a few comments regarding the mandate to purchase auto insurance vs healthcare insurance. With regard to auto insurance, this is a mandate issued by the individual "STATES" not the Federal Government. Anything not specifically afforded authority over Constitutionally to the Federal Government is deemed to the individual states to regulate, so auto insurance is not a Constitutional issue. Also, driving a car is a privilege, NOT A RIGHT!! Therefore, the individual states are well within their authority to require that drivers be qualified to drive by requiring testing, a license AND be financially responsible by requiring insurance.

    December 13, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. Tom from Canonsburg

    I didn't read the entire ruling, but isn't this hypocritical. That insurance companies mandated us through legislation to buy car, house & flood insurance and that was OK. If you you allow your car insurance expire, the state will take away your legal registration and place your vehicle on a list for the police to look for. Just what is the difference.

    December 13, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. gt

    its either everyone or no one for health ins......but the ones who dont have health ins need to man up and not have the tax payer pick up there bills if they choose not to pay for there ins...

    December 13, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. Ben

    The United States is "NOT" a nation of "WELFARE"!!!!! The country can't afford this insane health insurance from the Obama idiots. Every time somebody wants something doesn't mean our government is suppose to hand something out. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!

    December 13, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  6. WhiteKnight

    This is what the 3rd judge to rule and the first to declare it not constitutional. So 2 judges say it is one says its not.

    Like it or not so long as the government makes allowances for the inability to afford coverage I see no problem with a mandate constitutional or otherwise. And they did just that.

    December 13, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Sherri W.W.

    Sorry to add another comment,but I see someone was writing about that very thing~car&health ins, while I was writing my 1st comment so I feel I have to add:Yes driving is a privledge AND a choice~but if you get in a wreck and have no HOSP.INS~then we all pay YOUR BILLS! Also~Getting health care is a CHOICE TOO~all you have to do is~dont go to the doctor or hospital if you have no insurance to pay for it! HOWS THAT SOUND??

    December 13, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. Kris L

    Why would anyone refuse to get health insurance? Because they are healthy? We all get sick and accidents happen. All you do by refusing to get it if it is available is make everyone else pay more (odd, sounds like one of the complaints about hospital services for illegal immigrants). If your employer is large enough to provide insurance, and they refuse to do so that is one thing. But to just not bother trying is like cocking a loaded gun.

    December 13, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. Russell

    @Lazyeye – Health insurance was ORIGINALLY meant to cover ONLY catastrophic events just like auto insurance. Maybe we should go back to that. We should get rid of insurance riders like wellness checks, drug cards, prenatal care etc. That would definitely bring prices under control.

    December 13, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  10. Corey G.

    @Amanda: When driving a car you can have an accident and damage someone else's car, with health insurance you are insuring only youself, and can't "damage" other people.... People who do not have health insurance most times can't afford it, not because they don't think it's necessary as some do with car insurance, so how can you force health insurace on people who already don't have it because they can't afford it?

    December 13, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. AzAtty

    Donna, driving without insurance is illegal, it is a civil offense not a criminal offense. I think that is the distinction you were trying to make when you commented on Amanda's comment. You are correct, however, in that purchasing auto insurance is not similar to purchasing health insurance. My beef with those opposed to mandated health insurance, is that if you make the decision to not purchase health insurance and you then get sick or injured, then the rest of us will have to foot the bill through increased costs. The only way to address this issue is to turn people away at the hospital/doctors office if they've "opted out" of the mandatory insurance requirement but that simply won't happen. I don't know what the solution is, but I think not paying into the system is not it.

    December 13, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. PatrickUSA

    The Supreme Court has yet to decide the case and they will decide that it is legal. After all, by paying taxes we are FORCED to pay for the military, FORCED to pay for highways, FORCED to pay for social security, and the list goes on forever. We pay taxes for the common good, and anyone who thinks healthcare is not for the common good has rocks for brains.

    December 13, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. Jessica

    To the ones that think it is a good idea to let people not have to purchase the health care. When the uninsured get sick they get CHARITY CARE. And who do you think pays for this charity care? Why WE DO through taxes.

    If they have to purchase some type of health care at least they are paying for some of it instead of ME AND YOU paying for ALL OF IT! Understand now why we need this?

    December 13, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  14. glm

    Boy, you guys are really missing it...you buy Car insurance to pay for hurting other people or their property...not yourself, who cares about you...health insurrance is for yourself not anybody else you might infect...dosent even compare.Really illogical posts that miss the point entirely.

    December 13, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. mat

    On second thought, lets make everyone have auto insurance wether they dive or not, own a car or not, are bilnd or not. That way we can use the extra money to subsidize other peoples insurance:) The left is so in trouble. Maybe they should let Clinton do all the talking for Obama. That press conference was an admission that he is in way over his head, er pay grade:)

    December 13, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. Bubbadidit

    You can't compare car insurance to health insurance. If you're in a wreck your car insurance covers the vehicles involved and all medical expenses. If you dont have medical insurance that's on you. No one else will be resopsible for your medical bills. Car insurance is in case you hurt someone else or their property. Medical insurance is if you hurt yourself. So if you dont have it then you are responsible for yourself. Quit comparing things that don't compare.

    December 13, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. Eric

    So, if I don't have a car, do I need to buy car insurance? If I have good health, do I need to buy health insurance? If I am wealthly and can afford healthcare, do I need health insurance? I think all American's should have to have Life Insurance as well as Pet Insurance and Renter's Insurance. Idiots!

    December 13, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. crew md

    just like when you have an auto accident, either an insurance or society pays, when you have an illness either insurance or society pays. trust me, those of you saying "i don't have insurance and i don't want to pay for it" aren't saying "i don't want insurance, and if i get cancer i won't expect to get treated". the gov mandates you pay your license fees, registration fees for your vehicle, property taxes for your cars and other items, traffic/parking tickets, school fees for your kids.... this isn't alone. it is, perhaps, the most important.

    as a doctor, i want to treat you. help me help you. get coverage.

    December 13, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  19. Kayla

    I'm a Republican-I can't afford to have health insurance, haven't had it going on 5 years now!

    Hooray for this judge! This president is passing things left and right and NO ONE is looking to see what is hidden in these bills! They should all be ashamed of themselves! The US is going down fast! If we are forced to have this Obamacare-what's next forced vaccinations? forced sterlization? forced medications?

    December 13, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  20. abcdef12345

    I guess Obama and the Democrats are not above the constitution...yeah for the judge to see this for what it is, the stripping of personal choice via a bloated Health Care bill that would Bankrupt America.

    December 13, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. MosesJoeph

    Then what's up with the car insurance . . . ?! I should be able to rack up a HUGE hospital bill and then not pay it!!! This is America . . .

    December 13, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  22. Common sense!

    I am so sick of the comparison between health insurane and car insurance, two blatantly, obvious, different things! You want to ruin your life by not taking on responsiblity for your own self by not taking care of your health then that is your choice! Biut you get in a car and hurt or kill someone else with you negligence then you best be ready to help cover those expenses. Do what you want with and to yourselves, but when you start involving other peoples well being then you need to be he'll accountable!!!! DUHHHH!

    December 13, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  23. TA

    This not a surprise ruling coming from a very partisan Republican Judge. Sad commentary on how we think in the U.S. when it vcomes to taking care of our citizens.

    December 13, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  24. Stephen

    To all those who don't understand the difference between Obama Care and Auto Insurance: The government can force purchase of auto insurance because driving an automobile is an OPTIONAL privilege. This means that if someone does not want to purchase auto insurance, they just don't have to drive; they can take public transportation, walk, etc. However, with Obama Care, it is a FORCED purchase without the ability to opt out, i.e., everyone HAS to purchase it. See the difference?

    This is where the Government went wrong. Obama Care is forced commerce, which is unconstitutional.

    December 13, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  25. Bill from Indiana

    You are absolutely right us REPUBLICANS are happy that the robin hood policies of the current administration are finally getting overturned. How long do you think the government of a country that was founded on individual liberty can get away with robbing those of us that actually contribute to society before these socialist policies get overturned and the bums that wrote them voted out of office?

    December 13, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
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