Judge refuses to halt new healthcare law

MIAMI (Reuters) – A judge put on hold his ruling that President Barack Obama’s sweeping healthcare law was unconstitutional pending appeal, allowing the White House to continue implementing the reforms aimed at lowering soaring healthcare costs.

But U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson ordered the administration to seek within the next week an expedited appellate review of his January 31 ruling, which favored arguments by 26 states that requiring Americans to buy health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty was unconstitutional.

The Obama administration previously has said it would appeal the Florida judge’s ruling and continue implementing the law, which includes provisions allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ healthcare insurance and prevents insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.

While Vinson and a federal judge in Virginia have ruled against the law, a cornerstone of Obama’s domestic agenda, judges in several other states have dismissed challenges.

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