You are here:HomeIssuesHealth Care Reform2011Virginia Appeals Court Rules In Favor of Individual Mandate in Healthcare

Virginia Appeals Court Rules In Favor of Individual Mandate in Healthcare

A U.S. appeals court handed President Barack Obama a victory Thursday, ruling against challenges by Virginia officials and others seeking to invalidate the health care...
September 13, 2011

A U.S. appeals court handed President Barack Obama a victory Thursday, ruling against challenges by Virginia officials and others seeking to invalidate the health care reform law as unconstitutional. The 4th U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. overturned a lower court judge who had ruled the federal government could not compel people to buy health insurance or face paying a penalty. This is known as the individual mandate and takes effect in 2014.

Virginia had contended this provision conflicted with a state statute, giving it standing to challenge the federal law. But the appeals court found that Virginia did not have the right to challenge it and overturned the decision. The decision follows a similar one in late June by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati that upheld the so-called individual mandate by ruling that Congress had the power to require Americans to buy health insurance. But it contrasts with one by the 11th Circuit in August that ruled against the individual mandate requirement in a challenge brought by 26 states. Those conflicting decisions likely ensure that the Supreme Court will have to step in to resolve the differences.

Filed under: