Insurance & Technology is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


12:46 PM
Connect Directly

Federal Judge Rules Health Insurance Mandate Unconstitutional

Virginia district court Judge Henry E. Hudson says that the key provision of healthcare reform legislation "would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers."

A federal district court judge in Virginia has issued an opinion that the so called "individual mandate" contained in healthcare reform legislation is unconstitutional. A critical provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March 2010, the individual mandate requires individuals to purchase health insurance.

Judge Henry E. Hudson of the Eastern District of Virginia said that the individual mandate, "would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers," according to several published reports. Judge Hudson argued in a 42-page opinion that the federal government lacks authority to mandate purchase of insurance owing to the limits imposed by the Commerce Claus of the U.S. Constitution.

The ruling is the first federal decision contesting the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Two other federal district judges have upheld the government's authority to require the purchase of insurance. The U.S. Supreme Court is likely to be able to resolve the issue prior to 2014, when the mandate is due to take effect.

The provision of the healthcare reform act is critical because the actuarial logic of the legislation assumes the participation of young people, who are far less motivated to purchase health insurance.

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

Register for Insurance & Technology Newsletters