|December 13th, 2010, 11:55 AM||#1|
Join Date: 11-03-05
Location: OC - MI
Bye Bye Obama Care, Thank you judge.
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia. Photographer: Jay Paul/Bloomberg
The Obama administration’s requirement that most citizens maintain minimum health coverage as part of a broad overhaul of the industry is unconstitutional because it forces people to buy insurance, a federal judge ruled, striking down the linchpin of the president’s plan.
U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson in Richmond, Virginia, said today that the requirement in President Barack Obama’s health-care legislation goes beyond Congress’s powers to regulate interstate commerce. While severing the coverage mandate, Hudson didn’t address other provisions such as expanding Medicaid that are unrelated to it. He didn’t order the government to stop work on putting the remainder of the law into effect.
Hudson found the minimum essential coverage provision of the act “exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power.” Hudson was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2002.
The decision left intact other provisions of the law and only affects the part that requires most U.S. citizens to maintain minimum health coverage beginning in 2014.
The ruling is the government’s first loss in a series of challenges to the law mounted in federal courts in Virginia, Michigan and Florida, where 20 states have joined an effort to have the statute thrown out. Constitutional scholars said unless Congress changes the law, its fate on appeal will probably hinge on the views of the U.S. Supreme Court’s more conservative members.
“I am gratified we prevailed,” Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement. “This won’t be the final round, as this will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, but today is a critical milestone in the protection of the Constitution.”
U.S. health-care stocks extended gains after the ruling. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Health Care Index rose 0.5 percent at 12 p.m. New York time. UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Coventry Health Care Inc. led gains.
Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Justice Department, didn’t immediately reply to voicemail and e-mail messages seeking comment on Hudson’s decision. Reid Cherlin, a White House spokesman, did not immediately reply to an e-mailed request for comment.
“Some prominent conservative justices will go against it, but there is no serious indication that every single one will go against it,”, Mark Hall, a professor at Wake Forest University School of Law, who serves on a federal advisory board set up to help implement the law, said ahead of the ruling.
“There’s a lot of activity focused now on alternatives to the mandate,” said Dan Mendelson, chief executive officer of Avalere Health, a Washington-based consulting firm. One option might be to provide access to all people, even ones with pre- existing conditions, to buy insurance, and limit the times they could sign up.
“It’s using a carrot instead of a stick,” Mendelson said in a telephone interview last week.
Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for health insurers’ Washington lobby group America’s Health Insurance Plans, declined to comment on the record about whether insurers had discussed such an alternative with the administration or whether there was a way to design such a policy in a way that would be sufficient to replace the effects of the individual mandate. Through the individual mandate and expansions of Medicaid and employer-based coverage, the law is estimated to provide 32 million more people with coverage by 2019, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The case is Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sebelius, 10-cv- 00188, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond).
To contact the reporters on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Richmond, Virginia, federal court at firstname.lastname@example.org and; Margaret Cronin Fisk in Southfield, Michigan, at email@example.com;
To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|December 13th, 2010, 05:06 PM||#6|
Your Message Here
Join Date: 11-05-05
Location: The Ile of Grosse
I thought Obie was a Constitutional Scholar.
We need an Obie smiley, like an epic fail sign or something.
This is the Pub. Leave common sense at the door.
|December 13th, 2010, 10:42 PM||#9|
Dont Feed the Cyco
Join Date: 11-05-05
|December 14th, 2010, 04:18 PM||#11|
Join Date: 07-21-06
Location: Springfield Township, Mi
I'm not sayin; I'm just sayin.