Health-Care Mandate Is Constitutional, Says Another Judge Health-Care Mandate Is Constitutional, Says Another Judge
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Health-Care Mandate Is Constitutional, Says Another Judge

by Morgan Clendaniel

December 3, 2010

A third U.S. judge has ruled that the federal government has the right to tell you that you need to buy health insurance. In his opinion, Judge Norman Moon of the Federal District Court in Lynchburg, Virginia, laid out a strikingly simple and powerful rationale for a mandate:

"Nearly everyone will require health care services at some point in their lifetimes, and it is not always possible to predict when one will be afflicted by illness or injury and require care.…

"Far from ‘inactivity,’ by choosing to forgo insurance, Plaintiffs are making an economic decision to try to pay for health care services later, out of pocket, rather than now, through the purchase of insurance. As Congress found, the total incidence of these economic decisions has a substantial impact on the national market for health care by collectively shifting billions of dollars on to other market participants and driving up the prices of insurance policies."

One almost wishes that we had heard something like that pithy and understandable from those pushing health-care reform last year. Read the full 54-page decision, here (PDF).

Federal judges in Michigan and California have also ruled that the law is constitutional, but two more legal challenges remain, and they are before judges who, unlike the three above, were not appointed by Democrats. The White House thinks the chances are slim that either judge will uphold the law. This will all be decided, probably next year, in the Supreme Court.

Image: Courtroom One Gavel, a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (2.0) image from joegratz's photostream

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Health-Care Mandate Is Constitutional, Says Another Judge