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. Bassmaster

    In about 5 billion years, the sun will explode and envelope the entire solar system whether we have healthcare or not, whether we save endangered species or not, and whether one party is in control of the goverment or not. Unlike anyone in this joke we call "federal government," you can count on this happening.

    December 13, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. Christian

    Amanda,

    You are sooooo right. If it is illegal for the gov't to mandate you purchase health insurance, it should be illegal for them to force you to buy auto insurance. In my county of California, it is also required by law that you have house and renters insurance. That should be banned too.

    December 13, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. cvc

    I voted for Obama and I totally agree with this ruling. The government shouldn't be telling people that they HAVE to buy health insurance. Note the the court only ruled on that one section. The rest of the health care plan is still intact.

    December 13, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    Other than being unconstitutional it's also a poorly designed program that hurts America more than it helps. We do not need to see our healthcare costs go up even faster and we do not need to put that drag on the economy when it doesn't help create jobs or make American businesses more competitive. America does not need another major Federal Government bureaucracy and our health care system does not need to be saddled with so much more political involvement.

    We do need to see some changes in our health care system, but changes that will make it more efficient, lowering the cost and providing greater access based on that, not by creating a new federal bureaucracy.

    December 13, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. stufit

    And the walls built of lies, and corruption, start crumbling down. For GL, since I don't know why my money should pay for a lazy, dope using, educated by the NEA person, who does not want to work, and only wants to sit around and watch Oprah. It has nothing to do with not wanting people to have medical care, it comes down to stealing my money which I work hard for. Since most democrat liberals don't work and for sure don't pay taxes and want to "be taken care of" they don't understand the concept of personal responsibility.

    December 13, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. Chris

    but I must have car insurance.. Bet you would need health coverage if you could hold other people responsible for injures and illness. The insurance companies would be like Hell no, your guy made my guy sick you pay.. you would be required to have liability health insurance guaranteed and people would be like Yeah of course you do..

    Idiots... Idiots... idiots

    People just think I don't need coverage Ill just get sick and wont pay.. but I don't want government healthcare.. OMG

    December 13, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. KE

    Hmmm! Ok. A small victory! But who do you think is bearing the burden of those that are currently uninsured or underinsured TODAY? You know that medical facility that you would never visit because they treat the impoverioshed, do you really think they are keeping the lights on and giving out bandaids for free! If you don't like it, come up with somehting acheivable and stop whining!

    December 13, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. Cheryl

    Amanda, you have a choice whether to drive your car. You do not have a choice whether to have a body.

    December 13, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. AA

    I thought the right disliked "activist judges" or judges that "legislate from the bench." "Flip Floppers" I suppose. Wow I am getting good at this.

    December 13, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. ApplesAndOranges

    There is no federal law requiring the purchase of auto insurance. It is a state requirement and only applies if you drive on public roads. You can walk, take a bus, carpool, etc.

    Furthermore, you are only required to buy liability insurance by the states to protect OTHER drivers. If you get a loan to buy a car, then the bank requires full coverage.

    Stop using auto insurance as a comparison. They are nothing alike beside that they are labeled insurance.

    December 13, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. rookwood

    S.B. Stein,

    I also would like to see your kids covered if they can't find a job. So go buy it for them! Covering YOUR kids on YOUR plan means everyone in this country is paying for YOUR kids health insurance.

    December 13, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. Larry

    The argument that a state mandate to buy car insurance is equivalent to a federal mandate to buy health insurance is fallacious. According to James Madison: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite". States can require things of their citizens that the federal government is not allowed to do. We have a federal system of shared sovereignty, not a national system.

    December 13, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. Nowayjose71

    Thank goodness there's still a little sanity left in the country!

    December 13, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. Re: Amanda

    Amanda,

    Please don't compare Apples to Oranges. You only have to purchase Auto Insurance if you want to drive a vehicle. This Individual Mandate from ObamaCare forces everyone to purchase health insurance, period. If you don't purchase Auto Insurance you do not go directly to jail (or are levied a heavy fine), but with ObamaCare you are.

    December 13, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. AZ Granny

    Obamacare is the worst piece of legistation ever. They have already granted more than 222 waivers to businesses that can't afford to cover their employees with the level of insurance mandated by Obama care. Just last week we learned it eliminated discounted medication to children's hospitals. Just think of the exorbitant costs St Jude's and other children's hospitals and the seriously ill kids that won't be able to afford their medications. It truly is death panels for kids.

    December 13, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. Greenspam

    Someone should sue and strike down social security. Is it legal to force people to pay into social security? I don't see why that should be constitutional as well. Anyone?

    December 13, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. andy

    That's so messed up when did money become mre important than the well being of humans every american should have health insurence y did no one care when auto insurence became a law how is that any differant

    December 13, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. Scott

    I would have no problem with ending the health care mandate IF those not purchasing health insurance sign a waiver stating that they will not be treated in the event of an accident, emergency.or illness.

    December 13, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. Wallster

    It's unconstitutional to discriminate against people who don't qualify for healthcare.

    December 13, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. stinky mcgee

    This isn't about republican or democrat or helping the poor or being nice...it's about what power the government has. The constitution (thankfully) limits this power. Just as the government can't force a religion on you or bust through your front door, it can't force you to buy something you don't want.
    The options are to either tax working people to pay for health insurance for the poor or revolution.

    December 13, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. Chris

    Amanda, auto insurance for personal loss is not mandated. Only liability insurance is mandated, because that affects others. Collision insurance is not mandated, so this argument does not hold up when it comes to health insurance.

    December 13, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Amanda, the federal government does not force you to buy auto insurance, but most states do require you to have coverage if you want own a car, motorcylce, etc.. With respect to Obama Care, you simply could not opt out, even if you did not go to the doctor...

    December 13, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. randy

    there is no mandate to buy auto insurance, you just cant drive without it. Plus, insurance only benefits the holder, so why you complaining?

    December 13, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. Ann

    @Amanda, when you buy insurance for a vehicle, it is your choice to have the vehicle to drive. You can choose to not have car insurance by choosing to walk, ride a bike, take public transit, etc. When the government mandates healthcare insurance, then they are forcing you to have it just because you are alive. There is a big difference between the policies here.

    December 13, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  25. John, Missouri

    I felt the mandate was illegal because with other mandates you have other options, like not driving. With the health insurance mandate there are no other options except to stop living. Throw in the hefty fines that went along with the mandate, and it is a grave injustice.

    December 13, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
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