Small Victory for Health Care in Florida Case

A federal judge rules that the White House can continue to implement reforms.

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Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson (MSNBC)

Reuters is reporting that a federal court in Florida has refused to order the Obama administration to stop implementing its health care law (at least for now). Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson put on hold his ruling that President Barack Obama's sweeping health care law was unconstitutional, pending appeal. (In declaring the Obama administration's health care overhaul unconstitutional, he sided with 26 states that sued to block it, saying that people can't be required to buy health insurance.)

This means the White House can continue implementing the reforms aimed at lowering soaring health care costs:

But U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson ordered the administration to seek an expedited appellate review within the next week of his January 31 ruling that favored arguments by 26 states that the law's requirement that Americans buy health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty was unconstitutional.

The Obama administration has said previously it would appeal the ruling and continue implementing the law, which includes provisions allowing young adults to remain on their parents' healthcare insurance and prevents insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.

While Vinson and a federal judge in Virginia have ruled against the law, a cornerstone of Obama's domestic agenda, judges in several other states have dismissed challenges. The case is expected to eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

The administration has seven days to appeal the original order. So yes, this victory may considered to be "small," but the real-life issues at stake certainly aren't.

Read more at Reuters.

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