12:29pm

Fri February 4, 2011
Shots - Health News Blog

Federal Judge In Mississippi Throws Out Challenge To Health Overhaul

We know there's going to be a whole lot more litigating before the ultimate fate of the federal health overhaul law is decided. And we promise not to deluge you with every single twist.

Still, we thought you'd want to know that a federal judge in Mississippi dismissed a challenge to the law Thursday, only days after another federal judge ruled the law was unconstitutional because of its insurance mandate.

Now, as our go-to overhaul scorekeeper Julie Rovner tells us, the judicial scorecard on the law has pretty much followed party lines. Two judges who found the law constitutional were appointed by Democrats. Two who found the requirement for most people to have health insurance unconstitutional were appointed by Republicans.

In this latest case, however, the judge who tossed lawsuit is a Republican appointed by President George W. Bush in 2004 and backed by the state's two GOP senators. The judge — Keith Starrett — said 10 individuals and Mississippi's Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant lack standing to sue. Read the decision by clicking here.

He said they failed to show they would definitely be affected by the law's insurance requirement, which doesn't kick in until the year 2014. Starrett gave the plaintiffs 30 days to refile their case, so it's still possible he'll hear them out.

About a dozen other cases against the law have also been dismissed for standing or other procedural problems. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.