‘Individual Mandate’ Provision of Obama’s Healthcare Plan Ruled Unconstitutional

‘Individual Mandate’ Provision of Obama’s Healthcare Plan Ruled Unconstitutional


On the heels of heated debate surrounding Obama’s tax cut deal, the president now faces additional scrutiny, this time of his massive healthcare reform bill.

According to the Washington Post:

U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson found that Congress could not order individuals to buy health insurance.

In a 42-page opinion, Hudson said the provision of the law that requires most individuals to get insurance or pay a fine by 2014 is an unprecedented expansion of federal power that cannot be supported by Congress’s power to regulate interstate trade.

“Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal circuit court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market,” he wrote. “In doing so, enactment of the [individual mandate] exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress under Article I [of the Constitution.]

Hudson is the first judge to rule that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. He said, however, that portions of the law that do not rest on the requirement that individuals obtain insurance are legal and can proceed. Hudson indicated there was no need for him to enjoin the law and halt its implementation, since the mandate does not go into effect until 2014.

The case Hudson decided was one of 25 cases being heard in federal courts nationwide, including in Michigan and Florida.  At a time when Obama is already under fire, this rule adds an unwanted thorn in the president’s side, particularly considering that it will only fuel attempts by a Republican-led 112th Congress to pass legislation to repeal the healthcare act entirely.

Final resolution of the “individual mandate” issue will be determined by the U.S. Supreme Court.


  1. This ruling was so simple to understand even a person from Harvard can see it’s unconstitutional. Insurance is the problem when it comes to getting health care. It’s like having the Mafia sitting outside the hospital doors shaking down everyone before they get treatment. Focus on reducing the price of care and the cost of seeing a Dr. Insurance doesn’t want to lose it’s most valuable assets. Insurance is the problem. Free the Drs and let the hospital compete for their services? Let the Dr do housecalls or individual appointments for a set price.