A Republican federal judge declared a key provision of President Obama’s healthcare law unconstitutional, ruling that the government cannot mandate that citizens purchase health insurance. “At its core,” U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson wrote, “this dispute is not simply about …crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage — it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate.” He noted, “The outcome of this case has significant public policy implications, and the final word will undoubtedly reside with a higher court.”
However, the healthcare reform law has been upheld by other federal judges in Virginia and Michigan. Several other lawsuits have been dismissed and still others are pending in 20 states. The outcome of any lawsuit cannot be predicted in advance, so this ruling only adds to the uncertainty that healthcare institutions face–and adds to their inclination to put a freeze on hiring. It’s the main reason why nursing graduates aren’t finding jobs, even though demand is increasing. Consequently, nursing school enrollments are likely to go down. And when the law is implemented and the demand for nurses climbs sky high, there won’t be nearly enough nurses. Another nursing shortage in the making!