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Statement from Governor LePage on Health Care Reform Ruling

January 31, 2011

Augusta, Maine – A Florida judge on Monday marked the federal health care reform law, known as the Affordable Care Act, unconstitutional. The ruling was handed down by Judge Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Florida who said in his decision, “…I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and inequities in our health care system. The health care market is more than one sixth of the national economy, and without doubt Congress has the power to reform and regulate this market. That has not been disputed in this case. The principal dispute has been about how Congress chose to exercise that power here. Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void.”

Governor Paul LePage is pleased with the announcement. “I commend Judge Vinson’s ruling today. When Maine signed on, we stood up against the individual insurance mandate knowing it was unconstitutional. Here in Maine, we need comprehensive reform to lower job killing health care costs. More expensive mandates are not the answer,” said Governor LePage.

Twenty-six states including Maine joined the health care lawsuit. The states are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Please see the link below for text on the decision from Judge Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Florida regarding his summary judgment on "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."

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