A federal judge ruled Monday that the health-care law passed last year by Democrats and President Barack Obama is unconstitutional. So, what does that mean to you and me? Nothing—at least, not yet. The implementation of the law will move forward, notes USA Today , but the U.S. Supreme Court will probably have the final say.
Florida-based U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson ruled the entire law unconstitutional, leading Colorado Attorney General John Suthers to announce that the "ruling is a victory for federalism. The judge's well-reasoned order clearly lays out why the individual health-insurance mandate included in the president's health care overhaul law far exceeds the bounds of the federal government's enumerated powers" (via Westword ). Last year, Suthers added Colorado to the list of 28 states opposed to the legislation on the grounds that government should not compel individuals, under penalty of fines, to purchase insurance they may not want.
Other reactions throughout the state have been mixed. Dede de Percin, executive director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, is keeping score of the court victories and losses. "These lawsuits trying to block health care were intentionally filed in districts known to have ultraconservative judges, so we've won two and lost two, and I consider that a victory," she tells the Colorado Independent . Planned Parenthood takes the opportunity to restate its support for the law, citing myriad reasons, including an "end to discriminatory practices, such as routinely charging women higher premiums than men, and denying coverage for so-called 'pre-existing' conditions such as breast cancer or even pregnancy."
Meanwhile, Republican Congressman Mike Coffman, who represents the state's 6th Congressional District, was quick to post a statement on his website after the ruling: "Today's decision, once again, rejects ObamaCare by affirming that Congress does not have the authority to force citizens under the commerce clause to buy a product, and punish them with a tax penalty if they fail to do so."