Parts of the lawsuit against President Obama's health care plan will likely go to trial next year.
A federal judge in Florida ruled Thursday that the lawsuit brought by 20 states needs to be examined. He wants to hear more arguments over whether it's constitutional to force citizens to buy health insurance.
In a written ruling, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson said it also needs to be decided whether it's constitutional to penalize people who do not buy insurance with taxes and to require states to expand their Medicaid programs. Another federal judge in Michigan threw out a similar lawsuit last week.
In his 65-page ruling, Vinson largely agreed with the 20 states and the National Federation of Independent Business, saying Congress was intentionally unclear when it created penalties in the legislation.
The states have argued in their lawsuit that Congress overstepped its constitutional authority by penalizing people for not doing something - not buying health insurance.
The penalties for those who do not buy insurance are never referred to as taxes in the 2,700-page act, Vinson wrote.
Vinson set a hearing for Dec. 16. The lawsuits will likely wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court