Judge Tosses Christians' Obamacare Suit

Plaintiffs argued God provided only health insurance they wanted
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2011 2:09 AM CST
Updated Feb 23, 2011 6:00 AM CST
US District Judge Gladys Kessler is pictured before the start of a ceremony at the federal courthouse in Washington.    (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

(Newser) – A federal judge has chucked a lawsuit filed on behalf of people who claimed health reform was against their religion. The Christian plaintiffs argued that requiring all Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty violated their religious freedom because they believe God will heal them and they wish to refuse all other medical care, the AP reports. Buying insurance would send the message that they need "a backup plan and are not really sure whether God will, in fact, provide," the lawsuit said.

Judge Gladys Kessler said the plaintiffs had the option of paying a penalty instead of purchasing health insurance, so their religious freedom isn't affected. Besides, she noted, "Individuals like plaintiffs who allege now that they will refuse medical services in the future may well find their way into the health care market when they face the reality of illness or injury." Kessler is the third Democrat-appointed judge to dismiss challenges to the health care law. Two Republican appointees have ruled that all or part of the law is unconstitutional.

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