Jackie Judd talks with legal analyst Stuart Taylor about the legal blow today to the new health care reform law. Federal Judge Roger Vinson, in Florida, declared the entire law void.
JACKIE JUDD: Good day, this is Jackie Judd for Kaiser Health News. A legal blow today to the new health care reform law. Federal Judge Roger Vinson, in Florida, declared the entire law void because its core – the mandate that almost all Americans obtain health insurance – violates the Commerce Clause [of the U.S. Constitution]. The suit was brought by some 26 states. Legal analyst Stuart Taylor, a contributing editor for Newsweek and the National Journal, is with us. Thank you, Stuart, for joining us. Walk us through the judge’s reasoning.
STUART TAYLOR: Nice to be with you. The gist of it was that Congress has no power to require individuals to purchase health insurance. Because the only basis for the power that the federal government has claimed is the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce. And the judge held that that power – although it’s very broad, and the Supreme Court may decide it’s broad enough to justify this law – Judge Roger Vinson said it’s not broad enough to require someone to purchase a commercial product. That’s the gist of it.
JACKIE JUDD: And then he went a step beyond that, saying that the individual mandate is so inextricably linked to the rest of the bill that one couldn’t be separated from the other and therefore the entire bill would be void?