Judge rules healthcare reform unconstitutional

A federal judge on Monday struck down the health care reform bill President Obama signed into law last year, saying the federal government cannot force people to buy health care insurance.

“Simply put, the law threatens our individual liberties,” U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., said in a statement.

“While courts in Virginia and Florida continue to validate our fight against an unconstitutional expansion of federal authority, Republicans will do our part to support further repeal efforts and focus on adopting patient-centered reforms that embrace the principles of access, affordability, quality, responsiveness, innovation, and choices,” Price added.

Georgia joined 25 other states in challenging the health care law. No matter the outcome of the lawsuit, which was initially filed by Florida’s attorney general, the action is likely to make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Today marks a major victory for Georgia taxpayers and for all Americans concerned about the unconstitutional mandates in the Obamacare legislation,” Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, said in a statement. “…The federal government doesn’t have the right to demand that Americans purchase a product. Today’s ruling backs up that assertion. In fact, it goes even further by saying that the individual mandate is so inextricably linked to the overall bill that the entire law falls short of constitutional muster.”

The U.S. House previously voted to repeal the legislation, but the measure has not advanced in the U.S. Senate.

“The American people rejected the President’s health care plan last November, the U.S. House of Representatives repealed it two weeks ago, and now the justice system has again ruled it unconstitutional,” U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., said in a statement. “With this ruling, our nation is one step closer to reaffirming what Thomas Jefferson meant when he said ‘the policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free.’”

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