Half of States Ask Judge to Stop Entire Reform Law

In comments filed in federal court in Florida, representatives of the 26 states that successfully challenged the healthcare reform law urged the judge in the case to stop implementation of the entire law, according to a report by the Hill.

The comments are a response to a request by the Obama administration that U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson clarify his Jan. 31 ruling that struck down the whole healthcare reform law.

Of five federal court rulings on the reform law so far, Judge Vinson's is the only one striking down the entire law. Three other judges have ruled the entire law constitutional and one judge struck down only mandate for individuals to buy insurance in the law. However, two states – Florida and Alaska – have declared the reform law effectively dead unless an appellate court reverses the decision.

Court comments by the 26 states, joined by the National Federation of Independent Business, said the Obama administration should have requested a stay, pending appeal, rather than request a clarification.

The administration had argued that the individual mandate does not go into effect until 2014, leaving plenty of time for appeal, while many provisions in the law have already taken effect or require immediate action. The administration has three days to respond to the states' comments. Judge Vinson said he would then respond "promptly" to the clarification request.

Read the Hill report on healthcare reform.

Read more coverage of the legal challenge of the healthcare reform law in Florida:

- For First Time, Judge Strikes Down Entire Reform Law

- President Asks Judge to Clarify Decision Against Reform Law

- With New Ruling Against Reform Law, Some Democrats Consider Options

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