Judge Will Decide On Virginia's Health Care Challenge By End Of Year | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Judge Will Decide On Virginia's Health Care Challenge By End Of Year

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A federal judge in Richmond, Va., says he'll rule on the constitutionality of the federal health care law by the end of the year.

U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson listened to 2.5 hours of oral arguments in the state of Virginia's lawsuit challenging the law.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says the health insurance mandate is unconstitutional. He says for the first time, the federal government is punishing citizens for not purchasing a product.

"It penalizes Americans for not engaging in commerce," Cuccinelli says.

George Washington University constitutional law professor Peter Smith says people who choose not to purchase health insurance are most certainly performing an economic act.

"They draw on public health care programs, or they depend on their families, or buy over-the-counter remedies--all of that is economic activity," Smith says.

The individual insurance mandate is scheduled to take effect in 2014.

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