Florida judge hints at hearing healthcare reform case

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Judge Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida alluded that he will allow a federal healthcare lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to proceed following an oral argument earlier this week, according to various media reports.

The federal government filed a motion to dismiss State of Florida et al. v U.S. Department of Health and Human Services et al. in June. Vinson has been reported as saying that he will render an opinion on the case no later than Oct. 14, with scheduled arguments for the case’s merit reported for Dec. 16.

Following the oral argument, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum issued a statement saying, “The federal healthcare act exceeds the powers granted to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution. It is an egregious violation of individual liberty and limited government.”

According to McCollum’s statement, if the federal government is allowed to implement the individual mandate requiring citizens to have health insurance or pay a penalty, “there is no limit to what government can force citizens to purchase.

“I am confident the court will agree with the argument the States posed in court today and will deny the federal government’s motion to dismiss,” concluded McCollum.

Twenty states are included in the lawsuit.