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State of Virginia launches legal challenge to US health reforms

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 09 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4330
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    A US federal judge upheld a challenge on 2 August by the state of Virginia to the US health reform law passed in March. The next step is a summary judgment hearing on 18 October to determine whether the reform is unconstitutional, but the case is likely to take years to work its way through the courts and may go as far as the Supreme Court.

    Virginia’s attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli II, argued that the health reform law required people to buy health insurance or pay a penalty and thus exceeded the powers granted to the federal government by the commerce clause of the US constitution. The clause gives the federal government the power to regulate interstate commerce such as health insurance and to impose taxes. He said that …

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