This week, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson struck down a key provision of the national health care reform bill, known as the Affordable Care Act, that required every American to carry health insurance or pay a penalty tax.

A casual reading of Hudson's opinion in Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sibelius might leave the impression that the constitutional flaw in the federal law is that it violates an individual's right to make his or her own decision whether to carry health insurance. However, a state government has the authority to require its residents to purchase health insurance. Indeed, the federal law is modeled after a Massachusetts law that does exactly that.

Richard J. Bonnie, Health Care Law Ruling Ignores Settled Law, (December 16, 2010).