In a decision handed down on Thursday, October 7, 2010, U.S. District Judge George Steeh upheld a major provision of the healthcare law requiring all American to obtain health care coverage by 2014.
The Thomas More Law Center filed suit in Michigan after the law was signed alleging that the provision in question breached Congressional authority and amount to an unconstitutional tax.
Steeh, in his ruling, however, said that Congress did have the required authority under the Constitution’s commerce clause, and that the provision had bee adopted to address growing healthcare costs.
In the 20-page decision, he wrote, “The minimum coverage provision, which addresses economic decisions regarding health care services that everyone eventually, and inevitably, will need, is a reasonable means of effectuating Congress’ goal.”
A Justice Department spokeswoman, Tracy Schmaler, said, “This ruling marks the first time a court has considered the merits of any challenge to this law and we welcome the court’s decision upholding the healthcare reform statute as constitutional.”
Twenty states have joined forces in Florida to file a suit to block reform of the $2.5 trillion healthcare system as a violation of states rights forcing huge expenditures on their individual governments that they can ill afford.
The Thomas More Law Center has said it will appeal Steeh’s ruling. Robert Muise, senior trial counsel for the center, said, “I think we have a very strong argument on appeal and quite frankly I like our chances.”