Federal court hands Florida a partial victory in health care lawsuit

Federal court hands Florida a partial victory in health care lawsuit

A divided, three-judge federal appeals court panel on Friday struck down the requirement in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul package that all Americans must carry health insurance or face penalties.

But the ruling amounts to only a partial victory for the 26 states, led by Florida, that had sued to block the law. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision by Florida Judge Roger Vinson that the unconstitutionality of the so-called individual mandate invalidates the entire law.

Specifically, the court concluded that most of the federal law can stand without the individual mandate, citing such provisions as providing sufficient break time to nursing mothers, money for abstinence education, and an excise tax on indoor tanning salons.

Nonetheless, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi welcomed the ruling.

“Today we have prevailed in preventing Congress from infringing on the individual liberty protected by the U.S. Constitution,” she said in a prepared statement. “The ruling by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upholds our position that the federal health care law exceeds Congress’ power.”
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