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State Wins First Legal Challenge to Individual Mandate

George Fountas of Salem refused to tell the state whether he had health insurance in 2007 and was assessed a $219 penalty. Fountas argued, among other things, that the law is an illegal taking of property, is cruel and unusual punishment and requires self-incrimination. But a Superior Court judge found in favor of the Department of Revenue and dismissed the suit. Bob Bliss is the department's spokesman.

"Clearly the court felt that the law’s been properly drafted and implemented and there weren’t any constitutional issues with moving forward on it and we’re obviously glad to have that opinion."

Fountas calls the ruling bogus and says the state has violated additional rights by dismissing the suit and keeping his personal tax exemption. He says he will appeal and hopes to force the state to dismiss the individual mandate and associated penalities.

Martha Bebinger

This program aired on March 12, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Martha Bebinger Twitter Reporter
Martha Bebinger covers health care and other general assignments for WBUR.

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