PBS News Hour, March 4, 2011
A Florida judge has refused to order the government to stop implementing the healthcare reform law, handing the Obama administration at least a temporary victory in the ongoing legal battle over reform. U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson ruled in January that the healthcare reform law is unconstitutional, in a case brought by the attorneys general of 26 states. Four other judges have ruled on the law -- three have found it constitutional, and one has not. But after the Florida ruling, officials in two states, Florida and Alaska, said that they would take Judge Vinson's decision as a directive to stop implementing the law while the cases make their way to the Supreme Court -- where the issue seems almost certain to be debated. Last month, the Obama administration asked Judge Vinson to clarify his ruling and say whether he actually intended to halt implementation of the law.