Pa. judge rules against reform's individual mandate

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Despite the Obama Administration’s recent good fortune in Virginia concerning the legal standing of the individual mandate included in the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Pennsylvania U.S. District Judge Christopher C. Conner disagreed in the case of Goudy-Bachman v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In a Sept. 13 opinion, Conner declared the mandate requiring Americans to purchase health insurance unconstitutional.

Plaintiffs Barbara Goudy-Bachman and Gregory Bachman brought a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the mandate. “The nation undoubtedly faces a healthcare crisis,” lamented Conner in the 52-page opinion. “Scores of individuals are uninsured and the costs to all citizens are measureable and significant.”

However, according to Conner, the federal government is one of limited powers and Congress’ efforts to remedy the healthcare and health insurance market must fit within the boundaries of those powers.

“Based upon careful review of Commerce Clause jurisprudence, the court declares the individual mandate to be an unconstitutional extension of authority granted to the federal government under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution,” the judge concluded.

Read the opinion here.