White House: Health Care Law Will Still Be Implemented

By Chris Good

President Obama's new health care law will still be implemented as if nothing has changed, a senior White House position said Monday afternoon after federal Judge Roger Vinson ruled that the law is unconstitutional.

"We are going to proceed," a senior administration official told reporters on a conference call Monday afternoon, hours after Vinson's ruling in a federal district court in Florida, on a case brought by 25 Republican state attorneys general.

"Obviously we're going to appeal this. It's not going to be allowed to be where it is, but we're going to proceed to operate as we were previously," the senior administration official said.

The official noted that Vinson did not issue an injunction to force the government to stop implementation of the health care law. In ruling that the individual mandate--the requirement to buy health insurance or face penalties--is unconstitutional, Vinson concluded that the whole law is unconstitutional. The mandate will not take effect until 2014.

The official stressed that the White House will appeal the decision--meaning, basically, that it's not just ignoring the court's decision, and that a higher court will offer resolution on the issue.

The case is expected by most observers to reach the Supreme Court.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/01/white-house-health-care-law-will-still-be-implemented/70561/