President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has received another setback with a ruling by Federal judge Roger Vinson in the state of Florida that it is unconstitutional.
The judge’s decision prompted Florida’s insurance commissioner Kevin McCarty to declare that the act was not in effect in the state.
Vinson became the second federal judge to rule that it is unconstitutional to force individuals to buy health insurance, a fundamental part of Obama’s health reform strategy. This mandate of the act is due to come into force in 2014,
Meanwhile in the US, Senate Democrats have narrowly defeated a move (by 51 votes to 47) by Republican senators to have the act repealed.
But the saga is unlikely to end there. The US media is rife with speculation that the final decision will be taken by the US Supreme Court in 2012.
Notably the first judge to declare the act unconstitutional, Henry Hudson of Virginia, wrote at the time of his ruling in December 2010: “The outcome of this case has significant public policy implications and the final word will undoubtedly reside with a higher court.”