A federal judge has just ruled the new health care reform law in the United States as unconstitutional. He said that the federal government does not have the right to demand payment from people for health insurance.
This provision is an important part of the new legislation which was signed by the President himself, Barack Obama. Many people have anticipated the judge’s decision. It garnered both support and criticism from different parties of the legislation. However, the final decision about the new health law will come from the United States Supreme Court.
The ruling of the said law was handed down by Henry E. Hudson, District Judge of the United States. He is a Republican who was appointed by former President George W. Bush. He did the ruling in sympathy to the state of VA where oral arguments were conducted last October according to Associated Press.
The White House retaliated to the ruling by stating that a negative ruling will not affect the implementation of the new health law, especially when its major provisions will not take effect until later.
Moreover, the Attorney General of Virginia who is also a Republican had filed a lawsuit against the new law. The lawsuit is intended to bar the federal government from requiring the citizens of VA to purchase health insurances. His argument states that it is unconstitutional for the government to demand from people to buy health insurances and to charge fines if they don’t.
The United States Justice Department stated that the new health law is within the scope of the federal government’s power under the Commerce Clause. But the Attorney General argued that purchasing an insurance plan is an economic issue and is no longer in the government’s authority.
Key Provisions of the New Health Law
- Health insurance plans should provide coverage to individuals who have pre-existing medical conditions.
- Health insurance plans should allow children to stay on a parent’s coverage until they reach the age of 26.
- Health insurance plans should no longer include lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits.
- New health insurance plans should include preventive services like mammograms and various screenings without assessing deductibles or co-payments.