By Tom Brown
MIAMI | Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:18pm EST
MIAMI (Reuters) – A federal judge in Florida struck down President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare overhaul as unconstitutional on Monday in the biggest legal challenge yet to federal authority to enact the law.
U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson ruled that the reform law’s so-called individual mandate went too far in requiring that Americans start buying health insurance in 2014 or pay a penalty.
“Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire act must be declared void,” he wrote, “This has been a difficult decision to reach and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications.”
Referring to a key provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Vinson sided with governors and attorneys general from 26 U.S. states, almost all of whom are Republicans, in declaring the Obama healthcare reform unconstitutional.
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