December 16, 2010
Today, U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled that the "individual mandate" to purchase health insurance –the centerpiece of the new health care reform law – is unconstitutional. Judge Hudson is the first judge to make that determination – to date, rulings on two similar suits have gone the other way.
Curiously, though, individual mandates compelling the purchase of health insurance have been around for decades. For foreign students studying in the U.S., individual mandates are old news. Federal immigration law has long mandated that exchange visitors with "J visas" must purchase health insurance. Many states, such as Washington, Oregon, Ohio and Florida, extend this requirement to foreign students with "F visas," either by statute or administrative code. Many public and private universities and colleges do the same.