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.

Filed under: Health care • President Obama • Virginia
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. SL

    People are such idiots... A car is a privilege, not a right... That's why car insurance is mandated... Life is a right, not a privilege that's why we can't be forced to pay to live... Others of you are further ignorant, not all Christians are Republicans and a huge number of republicans are not Christians, you are so prejudice and blind... Furthermore, I am independent, l lime to think of us as te only open minded group of people out here... Obama's health plan is plain wrong here... He spent more time choosing a dog, than he did putting this healthcare plan together... Now, the truths are coming out...

    December 13, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. D

    Buying car insurance is only required when you want to own a car and drive it. It is meant to insure others you may harm!
    You are not required to drive! This is not the same as forcing everyone to buy health insurance!

    December 13, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. Brian

    How can anyone compare a mandate to buy health insurance to that of buying car insurance? The reason that car insurance is mandated is to help prevent people from being on the wrong end of a car accident with someone who doesn't have car insurance. If you don't have health insurance, the only person that affects is yourself and it's wrong for the government to force you to buy it if you don't want to.

    December 13, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Amanda

    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.

    -Just like we would have to pay a fine about not buy Health Insurance and would get caught?

    And when it is the state/federal level, I should be able to sue my state Government right. If mandating it is illegal right?

    December 13, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. Adam, IL

    Let me remind those who argue that if a health insurance mandate is unconstitutional, then an auto insurance mandate is as well, that auto insurance is not mandated by the federal government, but by the states.

    December 13, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. MaraKotobuki

    To all those who keep mentioning Auto insurance... Owning/driving a car is NOT a right. You don't HAVE to have a car. In fact, many people go their entire lives without even learning to drive. People who don't own cars don't have to pay for auto insurance. You can OWN a car and not have insurance (you just can't drive it on public roads). Auto insurance and heath insurance are NOT the same thing.

    December 13, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  7. John

    Also Amanda "Not every state requires Auto Insurance."

    December 13, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. I am YOUR Samurai Cowboy

    The RepublicaNazi's want the Health Care Law overturned so that they can allow the insurance companies to formally introduce Death Panels. Richard Holbrook underwent 20 hours of heart surgery for a torn aorta. He has "govenment run health care". If it were anyone else, the insurance company Death Panel would deny it, claiming that it was a pre existing condition. And then, we would die. This message brought to you by your freindly, neighborhood Samurai Cowboy

    December 13, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. Zack

    Loves how wrong Amanda is about the "madate to buy auto insurance".... Dem's/Lib's use this all the time, and it's just blatantly not true... There is only a madate to have auto insurance if you OWN AND DRIVE A CAR. IF YOU DO NOT OWN OR DRIVE A CAR, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE IT. IF YOU GET CAUGHT WITHOUT IT, OBVIOUSLY, THERE ARE PENALTIES. Point being, it's not required. If I choose not to go to the Dr, why should I have to have health care? If I choose not to own a car, I don't have to have auto insurance. If I choose not to own a home, I don't have to have home owner's insurance...

    December 13, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. alan seago

    For Amanda: There is no mandate that Americans buy car insurance. We must buy car insurance (in most states) only if operate a motor vehicle in that state. That is different than the health care reform, which will require all Americans to buy health insurance, whether they use it or not.

    December 13, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Matt

    This is NO mandate to buy auto insurance in America, unless I am missing something. First of all, auto insurance is run by each state, but most importantly, YOU are not required to have car insurance. You are only required to have car insurance if you register a vehicle. There is a big difference. If you dont own a car you do not have to buy insurance.

    December 13, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Helmsman

    Amanda – there is no law that requires all Americans buy auto insurance.

    December 13, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  13. Jeff

    Car insurance is mandatory if you want the privlege to drive. This health insurance is mandatory if you exist. Big difference.

    December 13, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  14. VC

    Of course it's unconstituional, it invades the freedom and right to privacy protected by the constitution

    December 13, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. Ricky in NY


    " 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. "

    Umm, no. The majority of americans want the law repealed. all polling shows that. Look at Gallup. Rassmussen, etc.

    December 13, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. XWngLady

    Enough said. Virginia, that is, the "real" Virginia courts are going to back Republicans' ridiculousness no matter what. But no worries. It will be appealed and the Supreme Court will overturn it.

    December 13, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. Gex

    The difference between Car Insurance and this is that you have a choice in regards to car insurance. Either you pay it and you can drive your car, or you don't and use public transportation. From what I've been seeing this would force you to have Health Insurance, even if you didn't want it. There's no other option, unless I missed something.

    December 13, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. c

    Finally, some common sense.
    The difference between health insurance and car insurance is that you don't have to own a car.
    You can choose not to have one. But you cannot choose not to have a body.
    Frankly, I'm for No-Fault car insurance. Meaning, you insure yourself only. If you get into an accident
    no matter who's fault, your insurance company pays to have your car repaired.
    Some states have this.
    No-Fault would also allow for a person who does not wish to carry car insurance to not be forced to.
    However, if they wreck their car, they will have to pay out of pocket. For some cars, that is ok. If you like having a new car
    best to have insurance.

    December 13, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  19. Eric

    Alright, time to stop buying auto insurance, registering my car, paying for a drivers license. I think I'll stop paying taxes too.

    December 13, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. Michael

    Amanda writes:

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

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

    No – Actually in most states you do not have to have automobile insurance for your vehicle (unless there is a loan outstanding). The required insurance is the equivalent of Malpractice Insurance that the Dr. has to have. It is to protect others against damage you might do to their property or person with the automobile. In the instance of the loan noted above, that requirement is to protect the lender's asset, not you too. This was one of the false arguments of the debate from the beginning.

    December 13, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. Jonathan

    Mandatory health care and mandatory auto insurance are not the same thing. With auto insurance you do have the option of not owning a vehicle. The only option for mandatory health insurance is to cease living.

    December 13, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. Robert

    Amanda – That is the point. The federal government can not and does NOT require auto insurance. It is the states that require insurance. The federal government has no jurisdiction in this regard, only the states do.

    December 13, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. Terri, Missouri

    This is total wrong. How will people be expected to purchase health insurance when they barely have enough money to live on. I feel that a roof over you head, clothes on your back, and food in your stomach should come first, then insurance if there is any money left.

    December 13, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. Lazyeye

    The auto insurance gag is a false comparison. You are only required to purchase auto insurance if you plan on driving a car. Auto insurance also is not a federal requirement. It is done through the states. In fact, not every state in the US requires you to purchase auto insurance. And auto insurance covers accidents only, which, if you were to compare it to health insurance, would mean that health insurance would only cover catastrophic injuries, illness, etc. and not things like check-ups, certain tests, screeneings, etc.

    So, think before you make terrible analogies.

    December 13, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. MarkR

    We might keep in mind the purpose behind the forcing of everyone to purchase insurance. Presently, taxpayers and those who have health insurance pay the medical bills of those who are not covered when they visit the ER for flu symptoms. Requiring everyone to have insurance simply spreads out the cost to a larger number of people, which in the big picture is the whole idea behind insurance. Car insurance is another deal altogether. I am not going to be help responsible for paying to fix another person's car repairs, unless I was responsible for them. The car can sit around with a bent fender, it's owner cannot ignore a bleeding ulcer!

    December 13, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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