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Clearing Out the Underbrush in Constitutional Challenges to Health Insurance Reform

Professor Mark Hall writes in the New England Journal of Medicine: “This week’s decision by federal district Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola, Florida, declaring the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional is far and away the most prominent decision issued to date in this ongoing litigation.

Because this lawsuit involves about half the states, it has received the most attention. But it is only one of about two dozen legal challenges across the country. Two other federal judges (in Detroit and in Lynchburg, Virginia) have upheld the law, and one other (in Richmond, Virginia) sided with Judge Vinson on the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate to obtain health insurance.1 Of the remaining suits, more than half have been dismissed on procedural grounds, and the rest await an initial decision. Read the full story »