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Judge upholds Obama healthcare plan

Nov. 30, 2010 at 8:44 PM

LYNCHBURG, Va., Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The mandate to buy health insurance included in federal healthcare reform legislation is constitutional, a federal judge in Virginia ruled Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Norman Moon rejected a challenge by Liberty University, The Hill reported. Liberty in Lynchburg, founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, is a private, Christian, politically conservative institution.

Moon, appointed by President Bill Clinton, is the second judge to uphold the healthcare plan. A third judge rejected a challenge on the grounds the plaintiffs did not have standing.

The judge said because almost everyone requires healthcare, deciding to buy health insurance is not simply a matter of individual choice.

"Far from 'inactivity,' by choosing to forgo insurance, plaintiffs are making an economic decision to try to pay for health care services later, out of pocket, rather than now, through the purchase of insurance," he said. "As Congress found, the total incidence of these economic decisions has a substantial impact on the national market for health care by collectively shifting billions of dollars on to other market participants and driving up the prices of insurance policies."

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