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.
FULL STORY


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

    EdD...the federal government cannot mandate...state laws and city laws may be different...but fed does not have the constitutional authority to do so, and thus it is a right delegated to the state governments

    December 13, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. AlEx

    The auto insurance argument is really WEAK! You are mandated to buy auto insurance IF you own (drive) a car. It is YOUR CHOICE to own (drive) a car. If you choose to work from home or take mass transit, you DO NOT have to buy auto insurance. Stop spreading lies!

    December 13, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. Dave

    The only decision that matters is that of the Supreme Court. Lets hope they strike down this government takeover of healthcare. We can do better than this. Both sides agree on certain reforms – start there.

    December 13, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. An MD

    People don't understand that the uninsured still get medical care. The system simply is not reimbursed, and that is a huge factor in the cost of health care for everyone. If we could get everyone insured, then the system could become more rational.

    December 13, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. Eve

    For those of you that continuously use auto insurance as an example of a law similar to the mandate to buy health insurance, consider the following: A) Auto insurance is mandated by the States. Not the Federal Gov't. and B) If you don't want to have auto insurance, you don't need to own a car.

    Mandating that citizens purchase a product (health insurance) from a private business (health insurers) is the very definition of fascism and directly at odds with the 10th amendment of the Constitution guarantees State's rights.

    December 13, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  6. Galt

    Amanda, darling, nobody forces you to buy auto insurance if you do not have a car. EVERYBODY has to buy health insurance. That's the difference.

    December 13, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. Antoin Dodson

    Auto Insurance laws are set by the state, not the federal government. New Hampshire, for example, does not require you to purchase auto insurance. The government is not here to take care of us, get over it.

    December 13, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. Bob

    The judge should also go ahead show how unconstitutional it is to force hospitals to provide emergency healthcare for people who don't have health insurance or means to pay for it. Then we will have a real free market health system. Can't have it both ways people!

    December 13, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. bob

    Auto insurance is mandated because you affect others with your driving skills or lack thereof. That's the difference so not a realistic comparison.

    December 13, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. pukka

    Comparing state mandates to federal mandates is like comparing apples to oranges. States have the authority to pass mandates so long as it does not violate their state constitution nor federal law. The federal government authority rests within their enumerated powers (very limted) specifically outlined within the US Constitution. A state government has the legal authority to mandate its citizens buy health insurance; the federal government does not. For those who wish to have socialized medicine, then your efforts should be focused at the state level. As a libertarian, I would oppose your efforts but not the constitutionality of the process. Moreover, I could always move to another state that promoted the belief that the freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you.

    December 13, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. tommy

    Hey Amanda, you don't need auto insurance, just take the bus

    December 13, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. coatah

    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."

    The difference is I am NOT required to buy Auto Insurance. If I fully pay for the car and don't drive on "PUBLIC" roadways there is no law requiring me to purchase auto insurance. But if I "CHOOSE" to drive on public streets, in a car that a bank owns, well, then I need to buy insurance.

    Health insurance, is not even in the same ball park, but if you use a straw man, anything can be justified in a debate. Keep it "apples to apples" please.

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. PDub

    The Government doesn't force you to buy a Automobile ppl! You are forced to live in your body and you can wreck it if you want.
    sigh

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. Julnor

    Finally sanity. And one more time: the mandate to buy health insurance is completely different than the mandate to buy car insurance. You chose to drive (many don't). The requirement to buy car insurance comes from the state. The required car insurance protects the person you hit, not you.

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. Rick CT

    There are some significant things things in the health care bill I stongly don't like. For instance, the government being able to determine what is a disease and what isn't – without going into a long disertation, check the status of chronic Lyme – now required to be insured in CT, but not recognized by the CDC – based on various arguments, the feds win this battle and insurance coverage for chronic Lyme ceases. Where else can this abuse go (mamograms, etc). Health care rationing, here we come. Also, we remain the only country where the lawyers are a big part of health costs. Obama did not want to offend this Democratic constituancy.

    However, the mandated coverage for pre-existing conditions cannot work if people are free to choose when they buy insurance.

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. blazer

    I can't believe how some people just want to be obove everyone and leave some in despair. I bet if it was a republican health care and a white man they will say it is ok. Because a black president want to make history and change the direction of the country, they call him socialist. No wonder that is why we are falling behind in everything in this world. I believe a time is coming when going to live in Brazil will be 100 percent better than living in the United States. Argue and don't get the job done and see where America will belong to in the coming 15years. Third world countries will even be better than this one.

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. GL

    Legal observers expected Hudson, a President George W. Bush appointee, to rule against the Obama administration in the lawsuit filed by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R).

    END OF STORY. He is a Republicans activies ruling in favor of his party.

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair

    Sayonara, Obamacare... all of the financial aspects of this bill are completely and totally built upon the mandate. If the mandate is found to be unconstitutional, the whole thing comes down like a house of cards.

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. Realy?

    "It is clear that the majority of Americans want the Health Care Bill..."

    Care to enlighten us with the location of this statistical evidence?

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. lpaz

    We all know this is bound for the Supreme Court. No need to get excited now. As far as the old argument, Health Ins vs. Auto Ins, really? People....I can choose not to drive a car, therefore insurance isn't needed. This bill makes it mandatory for all to purchase.

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. Andrew

    This judge in Virginia is stupid. The health care law is completely legal

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. Pat

    Amanda-
    re: auto insurance. Driving is a privilege – if you want to drive, you get the insurance. There still is a matter of choice.
    With Obamacare, there is no choice. Simply by being a citizen in this country, one must buy health insurance. Citizenship requires the insurance. That's a substantial difference.

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Tim

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

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

    There is a fudamental misunderstanding here about the requirements of these two laws. The law says that you must purchase health insurance if you exist. You must purchase auto insurance if you own a car. You do not need to purchase auto insurance simply because you exist. Never has the law forced us to purchase a product simply because we exist. This is a very, very big difference.

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. AVA

    I'm puzzled by the number of people claiming this is terrible because there are people out there who can't afford insurance. The individual mandate does not GIVE people insurance, it requires that they PURCHASE insurance. So, in essence, you're saying it's awful that the underprivileged can't afford insurance, so now we should fine them for not having what they cannot afford to have?

    To be clear, other parts of the bill do address affordability, but not this part.

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    "The key issue of contention was the "individual mandate" requirement that most Americans purchase health insurance"
    Told ya!
    The fed is mandated to CONTROL commerce, but it is NOT mandated to force people to ENGAGE in commerce!

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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