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Healthcare Repeal Fails in Senate, Mississippi Judge Tosses Out Challenge

Republican senators vowed to redouble their efforts to roll back the U.S. healthcare reform law, after a repeal measure failed in a party-line Senate vote...
February 8, 2011

Republican senators vowed to redouble their efforts to roll back the U.S. healthcare reform law, after a repeal measure failed in a party-line Senate vote on Wednesday February 2. The final tally was 47-51. Republicans needed 60 votes to advance their proposal. Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.), were not present for the repeal vote. Both voted in favor of the law when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was passed last year.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in Mississippi Thursday dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the U.S. healthcare reform law enacted in 2010. Judge Keith Starrett of the U.S. District Court Southern District of Mississippi in Hattiesburg found state Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant and others who filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA), did not have standing to file the suit. Starrett told plaintiffs they could file an amended suit with 30 days, the Hattiesburg American reported. The Mississippi ruling means the score in federal court rulings on challenges to the constitutionality now stands at 3-2 in favor of upholding the law.

Federal rulings so far: In addition to the Mississippi ruling, there have been four other federal court rulings on challenges to PPACA:  U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida found the act's mandate to obtain health insurance unconstitutional and ruled that the entire law must be struck as a result; however, he did not order immediate compliance ahead of coming appeals. In December, U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson of the Eastern District of Virginia also found the individual mandate to be unconstitutional, but left intact the remainder of the law. On November 30, Judge Norman K. Moon of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia dismissed a lawsuit brought by a private Christian university that claimed the U.S. health care reform law is unconstitutional because it does not protect against the mandatory insurance payments being used to fund abortion coverage. In an earlier case, a federal judge in Michigan determined the individual mandate is constitutional, as a decision to not have health insurance has the same effect as an active decision to pay for medical care out of pocket.

Click here to read Judge Tosses Healthcare Reform Challenge (UPI 2/3/2011)

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