What does it all mean? I think that we are in about the same place as we were before. Federal courts are split, so it's heigh ho, heigh ho, off to the Supreme Court we go.
In any event, here are the significant highlights of Judge Vinson's ruling, at least as I see it:
- Summary judgment in favor of HHS was found on the claim that the massive expansion in Medicaid because of the increased costs to the states was unconstitutional. In other words, the claim of the states got thrown out here.
- With respect to the individual mandate, Vinson elected to look at the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause separately. Bottom line, he finds the individual mandate to be unconstitutional on both grounds.
- Finally, he has found that the individual mandate is not severable from the rest of PPACA. Therefore, he throws out the entire law.
- Plaintiffs had asked for injunctive relief, and Judge Vinson said that such relief was not needed in light of his ruling.
Stay tuned for more ...