Florida Judge Expected to Rule on Obamacare Today
Florida Judge Roger Vinson of the US District Court in Pensacola, Florida is expected to rule on the constitutionality of Obamacare today. The plaintiffs represent more than half the U.S. states.
A Florida judge could on Monday become the second judge to declare President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law unconstitutional, in the biggest legal challenge yet to federal authority to enact the law.
The judge, Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Florida, was expected to rule on a lawsuit brought by governors and attorneys general from 26 U.S. states, almost all of whom are Republicans. Obama is a Democrat.
The plaintiffs represent more than half the U.S. states, so the Pensacola case has more prominence than some two dozen lawsuits filed in federal courts over the healthcare law.
No specific time has been given for Vinson’s ruling, which was unlikely to end the legal wrangling over the contentious reform law, which could well reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
But an aide said he was determined to issue his opinion in the course of Monday on the suit filed on March 23, 2010, just hours after Obama signed the reform into law…
… A federal district judge in Richmond, Virginia, last month struck down that central provision of the law in a case in that state, saying it invited an “unbridled exercise of federal police powers.”
The provision is key to the law’s mission of covering more than 30 million uninsured. Officials argue it is only by requiring healthy people to purchase policies that they can help pay for reforms, including a mandate that individuals with pre-existing medical conditions cannot be refused coverage.