Judge: States Can't Ignore Health Care Law—Yet

They must continue implementing it while it winds through courts
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 3, 2011 1:37 PM CST
It's a small victory for President Obama, if only a temporary one.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A federal judge who declared President Obama's health care overhaul unconstitutional ruled today that states must continue implementing it while the case makes its way through the courts. US District Judge Roger Vinson was responding to a request from Obama administration attorneys who sought to ensure Florida and 25 other states follow the law until their challenge to it is resolved.

Vinson admonished the administration for being slow to appeal and for asking him to clarify his ruling instead of filing a motion to put it on hold. Still, he said, it is in the nation's best interest for states to continue following the law for now. "It would be extremely disruptive and cause significant uncertainty" to halt implementation, he wrote. However, if the federal government does not appeal with seven days, the states can consider the law invalid, he wrote. Two other federal judges have upheld the law and a third in Virginia has ruled against it. The issue is expected to wind up before the Supreme Court.

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