** BREAKING: Federal judge blocks nursing-home arbitration ban **

The American Health Care Association has succeeded in achieving at least a temporary halt to the government's ban on nursing homes' pre-dispute arbitration clauses.

Judge Michael Mills said in a 40-page decision released Monday morning that while there might be sympathy for consumers' belief that such clauses might not be in their best interests, a solution lies with Congress, not a federal agency overstepping its authority. This echoes AHCA's argument against the ban, and for an injunction.

“Congress' failure to enact positive legislation should not serve as an excuse for the executive branch to assume powers which are properly reserved for the legislative branch,” wrote Mills, a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.

A sweeping new set of nursing home rules issued by the Obama administration this fall called for, among other things, a ban of binding arbitration agreements, starting immediately on Nov. 28.