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Judge Will Determine If Health Care Law Is Constitutional

A federal judge will hear oral arguments this month over whether the federal health care law is constitutional. A prominent California conservative legal group believes the case could ultimately be decided on how health care is viewed by the public.

The lawsuit pits more than 20 states against the federal government, but the Florida federal judge hearing the case probably won’t have the final say.

According to the plaintiff states, requiring individuals to get health insurance is unconstitutional, while the Obama administration argues the mandate is covered under the Congressional commerce clause.

Timothy Sandefur, with the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, said the federal government could win out in the Supreme Court if the individual mandate is seen as a small regulation made for the greater good.

"On the other hand, if this is presented as a violation of individual rights that dramatically undoes the Constitutions protections against extensive government, there’s a better chance for the plaintiff’s to win," Sandefur said.

California has rapidly implemented key components of the health care overhaul. If the law is overturned, millions of Californians would again be ineligible for Medi-Cal and other coverages and the state would lose billions of federal dollars.

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