U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson has thrown out federal healthcare reform known as “Obamacare” on the basis that the individual mandate contained in the law violates the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.
While an earlier ruling by a federal judge in Virginia invalidated the law on similar grounds, it kept the rest of the law intact. However, in Florida, Judge Vinson said that, since the individual mandate that is so integral to the entire law is unconstitutional, the entire law must be thrown out.
The ultimate fate of Obamacare is far from settled and most observers believe the issue will end up being decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
All of the uncertainty about the law’s controversial provisions makes a strong case for real health care reform that truly focuses on the need for lower cost, higher quality and increased access. It also underscores the need for open, bipartisan debate on how to best achieve those goals.
We will provide more updates as developments take place. -- Eric George