Yesterday in Florida, a federal judge tore into the Affordable Care Act, deeming it unconstitutional due to the provision that people must buy health insurance or pay a penalty. This paves the way for the Supreme Court having the final say in the healthcare reform law debate.
Roger Vinson, a US District Judge in Pensacola, Florida stated “If Congress can penalize a passive individual for failing to engage in commerce, the enumeration of powers in the Constitution would have been in vain…and we would have a Constitution in name only.”. “Surely this is not what the Founding Fathers could have intended.” This ruling is in response to the suit brought by 26 states challenging the legality of Congress to regulate interstate commerce in this manner.
Unlike US District Judge Henry Hudson in Virginia who concurs with this belief, Vinson attacked the entire legislation.
According to Judge Vinson, “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” and “the entire act must be declared void”.
As this debate unfolds, it may very well be that the Republicans trying to repeal the healthcare reform law may be moot when it is decided in the court system.