President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul was dealt another blow on Jan. 31 as a Federal judge in Florida declared the law unConstitutional.
Senior United States District Judge Roger Vinson ruled that Americans should not be required to purchase health insurance, and added the entire law is in violation of the Constitution because of the individual mandate requirement. In December, a Federal judge in Virginia decided that the same provision was unConstitutional but did not reject the other aspects of Obamacare.
White House officials have condemned the decision out of Florida, and the Justice Department indicated that it will appeal the ruling. The lawsuit was filed by former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum shortly after Obama signed the healthcare bill into law last March. A total of 25 other states signed onto the challenge.
The ruling has been lauded by GOP leaders, who are determined to repeal Obamacare through the legislative process. Last month, the House of Representatives approved a repeal by a vote of 245-189. Despite a Democratic majority in the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is hoping to bring a repeal vote to the floor.
"[Vinson's] decision affirms the view, held by most of the states and a majority of the American people, that the Federal government should not be in the business of forcing you to buy health insurance and punishing you if you don't," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement, quoted by The Associated Press.