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. Jeff

    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." You can choose not to drive or to stop driving on public roads, if you only drive on your own private land or just don't drive a car you have the option to not have auto insurance. Besides that the car insurance requirements are done at the State level and varies state to state. The only way you can get out of the federal healthcare requirement is to stop breathing........see the difference?

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. Russell

    @Wv6324 – I am not in the industry but from my understanding, the $6000 bill for that CT scan is for you and about 19 other people who did not pay for the CT scan. Doctors have to make up the cost for whatever they do. If they have to see 10 people who do not pay for care, the 11th person will make up the difference or pay for it all. If all 10 are able to pay (by insurance or cash) the cost goes down for that 11th person. There has to be some kind of equation that these office managers are using to get at these prices.

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. Steve

    @Amanda – read up on the 10th amendment
    @Palin Power – Thank GOD Palin will never be president. Ron paul 2012

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. Sam

    I agree with Garth. Some states require auto insurance if you have a vehicle. But then again, some states don't care if you have auto insurance or not. The federal government has nothing to do with that.

    December 13, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. Tom

    While supporting many of the ideas included in the health care reform, this was the one item no one should support. For the Federal Government to mandate an individual buy health insurance is wrong. It is NOT the same as auto insurance, which is mandatory to protect the guy you hit, not you. If you do not want to buy health insurance fine, your choice. Just do not come crying if something major happens to you and your savings gets wiped out paying for medical bills.

    December 13, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Phil

    I am covered by the Veteran's Admin, but when the census came out, so did a part of my families blood line.
    American Indian, who can't be forced to buy health insurance.

    December 13, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. kevin

    just another step to getting this terrible law to the supreme court.

    December 13, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. Joe

    If you liberals would pay attention, you would know that Romney-care, EU-care and Canadian-care are total failures. Read something besides your biased networks and news.

    December 13, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. NKM

    You are NOT forced to buy auto insurance by the simple fact that you are not forced to drive a car.

    December 13, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. papanez

    I find it absolutely idiotic that any part of this plan would be considered 'unconstitutional.' The 'survival of the richest' is becoming the motto of this country. I'm perplexed, disillusioned, and demoralized. Where is the heart and soul of America hiding?

    December 13, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. Zaggs

    "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."

    Thank you Amanda for such an asinine argument. The fact of the matter is no one forces Americans to buy auto insurance. American DRIVERS are forces to buy insurance and are forced to buy insurance by the STATES. See first off having to have to buy auto insurance requires you must willingly want to drive (no one forces you to drive either). If you do not want to drive, you don't need auto insurance. Secondly having to have car insurance is a state requirement, not a federal one. Obamacare is forcing everyone to get health insurance, its not by choice unlike auto insurance.

    December 13, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  12. Stinky

    Having to buy auto insurance is constitutional because driving is a privledge. If I do not wish to pay for auto insurance, there are other options...walk or take a bus. If I decide I do not want health coverage, I am not afforded the option of not paying, unless I want my wages garnished or go to prison...

    December 13, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    @Amanda. A car is a luxury item, you don't HAVE to buy one. Given their potential for destruction, it goes without saying you must have insurance if you do. Mandating insurance on simply having a human body is an entirely different ethical issue, its apples and oranges.

    December 13, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. Stella

    While I like the idea behind Obamacare, this was my one big objection to it. How can you force people to buy something when you don't even give a public option to lower the price? The only other thing I don't like about this is no being able to buy over the counter meds on my Flex Spending Account.

    BTW why are you guys comparing this to Auto Insurance when it's more accurate to compare this to paying taxes?

    December 13, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. JK

    So shouldn't the logical conclusion be, as no one wants to be forced to buy insurance, then no one should be entitled to free care. If you show up in the emergency room without insurance or cash, you are refused care. Why should those people with insurance subsidize those without insurance? That's the system we have now and it's unsustainable. I'm not saying this is the right thing to do, and I don't support that point of view, but that is how you implement the Republican point-of-view without bankrupting the system and America.

    December 13, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. Ong

    Moreover, who do you think wrote Obamacare... The health insurance and pharmaceutical companies. They are publicly chastised by the government but behind the scenes the industry was given an unlimited base of customers. Why do you people insist this is for you ?

    December 13, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Rob

    Last i checked i have the OPTION to drive a car. Am i missing something here?

    December 13, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. James

    "I guess people don't want everyone to have a chance to have medical coverage."
    *****************************************************************************************************************

    Everyone can have whatever medical coverage theywant. Just don't expect me to pay for it.

    December 13, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Canad

    Only an American would not want health care, keep eating you'll all die young anyway

    December 13, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. Alan

    The reason state governments can force you to buy car insurance, a driver license, etc is because your using their roads. It constitutional because you don't have to drive. If you don't drive you don't need to buy all that. You are not penalized for doing nothing. Obama's healthcare plan however does penalize you for doing nothing. Penalizing someone for doing nothing is unconstitutional. A better bet for Obama would have been to offer tax incentives for having health insurance.

    December 13, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  21. CSMinDC

    To the people who've mentioned car insurance, that is a state law, not federal. You are NOT forced to buy auto insurance. You don't have to own a car.

    Also, to those who believe we should be forced, through a faux tax, that we should be forced to buy: please give more than required to help your fellow man. If you believe tax rates should return to pre-2001 levels, please give more than you're required. For those who do not give more than required, I say to your face: Hypocrite.

    December 13, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. CYCO1631@gmail.com

    Best news of the day. You cannot mandate that people pay for what is an unalienable right, and then fine them if they can't. To the auto insurance argument, you can choose not to own a car, and therefore, are not mandated to buy auto insurance. You do not have the same choice about living.

    December 13, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  23. Briley Parkway

    @ Dave and Amanda – apples and oranges. You are only required to have auto insurance if you choose to operate a motor vehicle on public streets. Don't want to buy auto insurance, that's fine....you have the option to use public transit, bike, walk or bum a ride from someone else. With the health care law, you have no choice. If your employer does not provide health insurance, you must purchase it or face a fine.

    December 13, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  24. Kris L

    If this has been a bill from a Republican led Congress, you'd hear cries of 'Judicial Activism" and 'Legislating from the bench'.

    December 13, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    To all those brain dead liberals trying to compare this to auto insurance:
    It's not the same. Try to understand this. You're only forced to carry liability insurance if you drive. The government doesn't force you to drive, let alone get a drivers license.

    The fed cannot force you to buy health insurance simply because you exist in this country.

    December 13, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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