Photo: Mandated Health Care
In a much-anticipated decision, Judge Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Florida has ruled that the provision of the health care overhaul bill, which mandates that everyone have insurance starting in 2014, or pay a fine is unconstitutional.
However, Judge Vinson states that the mandate to purchase could not be separated from the rest of the law so therefore the entire law is unconstitutional. This is different from the federal judge’s decision in Virginia last December.
His full decision is 78 pages long. Vinson believes the bill must be reviewed in its entirety and realizes this is an unusual legal stand.
I must conclude that the individual mandate and the remaining provisions are all inextricably bound together in purpose and must stand or fall as a single unit. The individual mandate cannot be severed.
This conclusion is reached with full appreciation for the “normal rule” that reviewing courts should ordinarily refrain from invalidating more than the unconstitutional part of a statute, but non-severability is required based on the unique facts of this case and the particular aspects of the Act.
Attorney generals in 26 states, 2 individuals and the National Federation of Independent Business had brought the challenge in Florida.
Tally: 4 District Court Decisions- two uphold the bills constitutionality , two found it unconstitutional.
All four are being appealed