A federal judge on Dec. 13 ruled that new health care reform laws unconstitutionally require Americans to obtain health insurance. U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson of Richmond, Va., said that mandating health insurance exceeds the regulatory authority granted to Congress under the Commerce Clause.

Vivian Ho, James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics and professor at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine, argues against Hudson"s ruling in a Dec. 15, 2010, blog post. His ruling, she writes, "fails to take into account the many unique characteristics of the health care market that provide a sound economic argument for why mandating health insurance is both constitutional and beneficial to the American population as a whole."