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U.S. judge orders to continue implementing healthcare law

03-04-2011 10:03 BJT

WASHINGTON, March 3 (Xinhua) -- A federal judge in the U.S. state of Florida on Thursday ordered a stay of the court's ruling that would have halted implementation of the healthcare law, pending the government's appeal.

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, who ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional on Jan. 31, ordered states to continue implementing it while the case makes its way through the courts.

"We appreciate the court's recognition of the enormous disruption that would have resulted if implementation of the Affordable Care Act was abruptly halted," Tracy Schmaler, Deputy Director of the Office of Public Affairs at the Justice Department, said in a statement.

"We welcome the court's granting of a stay to allow the current programs and consumer protections, including tax credits to small business and millions of dollars in federal grants to help states with health care costs, to continue pending our appeal in the Eleventh Circuit," the statement said.

In a lawsuit filed by 26 states, Vinson ruled the healthcare law unconstitutional as it exceeds the boundaries the Constitution gives the Congress to regulate interstate activities.

His order of a stay of the ruling was responding to a request filed by the Justice Department last month.

"The court's declaratory judgment potentially implicates hundreds of provisions of the Act and, if it were interpreted to apply to programs currently in effect, duties currently in force, taxes currently being collected, and tax credits that may be owed at this time or in the near future, would create substantial uncertainty," the department said in a court filing.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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