A federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Tuesday the requirement imposed by federal health reform that individuals must buy health insurance or pay a penalty is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Christopher C. Conner in Harrisburg declared the minimum coverage provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exceeds Congress's authority under the U.S. Constitution.

"The nation undoubtably faces a health care crisis," Conner said. "Scores of individuals are uninsured and the costs to all citizens are measurable and significant. The federal government, however, is one of limited enumerated powers, and Congress's efforts to remedy the ailing health care and health insurance markets must fit squarely within the boundaries of those powers."

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