U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of Florida today struck down the federal health care law challenged by 26 states, including Arizona.
“This is a huge victory for health care freedom,” said Clint Bolick, the Goldwater Institute's litigation director, which is challenging the law in a separate lawsuit in Arizona. “It’s a triumph for 26 states fighting to protect their autonomy against the federal juggernaut, and for all Americans who want to control their own health care decisions.”
Judge Vinson ruled that Congress doesn’t have the authority to force anyone to buy health insurance. As written, the unconstitutional health insurance mandate can’t be separated from the rest of the measure approved in 2010, the judge said. So he suspended the entire law.
“I emphasized once before, but it bears repeating again: this case is not about the myriad problems in our health care system,” the judge’s opinion says. “In fact, it is not really about our health care system at all. It is principally about our federalist system, and it raises very important issues regarding the Constitutional role of the federal government.”
Judge Vinson’s decision in Florida joins an earlier ruling by a federal court in Virginia, which struck down key parts of the law.
The Goldwater Institute's Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation has a pending request for a federal court injunction against a different part of the law that creates the Independent Payment Advisory Board. This new agency is charged with sweeping authority related to government payment for health care services. The lawsuit challenges the agency as unconstitutional because Congress and the federal courts have almost no oversight of the board’s decisions, and the health care law makes it nearly impossible for Congress to repeal the agency, Mr. Bolick said.
To read about this and other lawsuits by the Goldwater Institute to enforce constitutional limits on government, visit www.goldwaterinstitute.org/litigation. The Goldwater Institute is an independent government watchdog that develops innovative, principled solutions to issues facing the states and whose work is made possible by the generosity of its supporters.