(December 13, 2010): A Federal Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia concluded that the provision of the recent Health Reform Law may be unconstitutional. that penalizes/taxes individuals who fail to purchase health insurance, violates the United States Constitution. In doing so, the Court reaches a different conclusion than two other Federal courts – one in Virginia and one in Michigan, that have concluded that the provision – frequently referred to as the individual mandate -- is valid and within Congress’ constitutional authority.
The Court, however, also realized that the final arbiter of the validity of the individual mandate and the health reform law – is likely to be the US Supreme Court. Moreover, the Court recognized that the specific provision of the Law at issue – the individual mandate – does not become effective until 2014, and therefore refrained from issuing an injunction. As a result, the decision is unlikely to have any impact on the implementation of the health care reform law at this time.