A federal judge in Florida has ruled unconstitutional the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, specifically focusing on the so-called "individual mandate" requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or face stiff penalties. Monday's ruling came in the most closely watched of the two dozen challenges to the law.
In a 78-page ruling, Judge Roger Vinson said, "I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and inequities in our health care system."
Vinson says because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void. He says this has been a difficult decision to reach, and he is aware that it will have indeterminable implications.