Key part of US health reform is unconstitutional, Virginia court rules

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 14 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c7222
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

A Virginia judge ruled yesterday that the “individual mandate” requiring US citizens to buy health insurance is unconstitutional.

Judge Henry Hudson, who was appointed by the former president George W Bush, ruled against the law in the US District Court in Richmond, Virginia. The case was originally brought by Virginia’s attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli II, also a Republican (BMJ 2010;341:c4330, doi:10.1136/bmj.c4330).

Judge Hudson’s ruling does not halt the entire healthcare reform act, only the individual mandate. Some provisions of the act have already gone into effect, and more will do so in January. The requirement that US citizens have health insurance does not take effect until 2014, …

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