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Score One for Cuccinelli’s Health Care Lawsuit

by ARLnow.com December 13, 2010 at 1:36 pm 3,781 90 Comments

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has scored a legal victory in his challenge to President Obama’s health care reform law.

Today, in response to Cuccinelli’s lawsuit, a federal judge ruled that a key provision in the health care law which requires individuals to obtain health insurance is unconstitutional. Obama administration lawyers are planning to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a short Twitter message, Cuccinelli refrained from taking a long victory lap.

“[The health care] ruling is in. Virginia won this round,” he said succinctly.

The ruling will have little immediate effect in terms the law’s implementation. The White House says it expects the challenge to be resolved before most of the health care law’s key changes are implemented in 2014.

Update at 1:50 p.m. — Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is scheduled to appear on Fox News between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. to discuss the ruling. Read McDonnell’s statement on the court’s decision here.

Update at 2:05 p.m. — White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs responds to the ruling: “We are confident that the affordable care act will be upheld.”

  • Courthouse Resident

    I can’t imagine how over inflated Cooch’s head must be at the moment. I love how you must have insurance to drive a car or you will be penalized – but somehow this is completely different.

    • hooooos

      For one, that imposition is put upon you by the Commonwealth (or other state in which you reside), not the federal government. So it is completely different.

      • G

        Regardless of who is imposing this, I agree with Courthouse Resident. Car insurance is needed to protect ourselves (and others) from an individual’s inability to pay the costs associated with an accident. I don’t see how healthcare costs should be treated differently. We as taxpayers (and those with health insurance) end up footing the bill for those who do not carry insurance and have say, an accident, or are hospitalized for some other chronic condition that came to a head. When this individual can’t pay it, the hospital does and passes those costs on to the state or to insurers who then pass on the costs on to those who are actually paying for their health insurance. Assuming the new health care plan makes insurance affordable for all (and I understand that is definitely a big IF) then they should be forced to pay for it, or else pay a penalty (which probably wouldn’t nearly cover the cost of an emergency room visit anyway).

        • Burger

          Because the Constitution has placed limits on what rights the government can and can’t restrict and reserves to the states, under the 10th amendment. The Constitution then reserves to the states the ability to impact those rights not impacted by the Federal Govt to the state to limit within the confines of the Constitution. Only within the confines of the constitution can a federal law be passed that restricts a perrson rights – hence the argument about the commerce clause which states that Congress can pass a law to regulate.

          There is no federal law that can effect the requirement of keeping car insurance but since the states can enact provisions under the prospect of the 10th amendment to require car insurance. In effect, the state has more power to restrict rights than the federal government. So, if a state chose to force a person to have healthcare insurance that would almost be guaranteed by the US Constitution whereas, a federal law is much more murky.

      • Courthouse Resident

        So it’s ok for the state to impose on us – but heaven forbid the federal government do the same!

        • Burger

          Essentially, yes. It is called the 10th Amendment:

          The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

          • Burger

            It was all part of the checks and balances the founding fathers want to put in place. The legislative, executive and judicial branches check each other and the state and federal government are another check as a counter to the Articles of Confederation that placed most of the power with the states.

            Over time the federal government has increased its power over the state because of its unity and economies of scale. We can debate whether this is a good thing over the long run (I’m most for but see where it appears the federal government have overstepped their bounds in some places) because of its philosophical overtones and never get an agreement.

          • KalashniKEV

            It’s become obvious to me that the left’s ignorance of the United States Constitution is a major source of their disconnect with reality, especially with regard how power is divided and what rights are protected.

            I believe that they can save themselves before the next election by returning to American values and rejecting Socialism… but still they continue to rally around Plastic Jesus, smiling smugly, like he has all the answers and we’re all just too dumb to recognize his genius…

            We can be sure that there will be a lot fewer standing with him in the coming months though… and it’s my opinion that they will all (100%) turn on him in the end.

          • G

            The constitution isn’t the be all and end all of the law. It can be amended. I’m sure the founding fathers did not foresee the issues we are having now re health insurance. Whether it takes an amendment or whether the states have to enforce it themselves, everyone needs to do their part in protecting themselves and society from the costs of their inevitable health care issues. I’m sick of republicans clinging to constitution when they have no other logical idea to put forth in order to solve the problem at hand.

          • G

            One more additional note, I’m surprised republicans aren’t in favor of this rule. They’re usually first in line when it comes to legislation that will oppress the poor or unemployed (assuming those are the ones who likely will not want to buy their own health insurance).

          • Courthouse Resident

            @KalashniKEV
            I would really reconsider calling “The Left” ignorant of stuff. Both sides are disconnected. And I’m sorry you think that Libraries, Police and Fire Departments are a bad thing.

          • KalashniKEV

            G, The constitution IS in fact the “end-all-be-all” when it comes to the law… that’s why we rule on a law’s “Constitutionality!!!”

            I mean… this whole debate we’re having is just WACKY!! Did you even know how ridiculous you sound? Do you propose we enact and enforce laws that are, at face value, Unconstitutional?

            It’s true that the Constitution COULD be amended to allow for Obamacare… so why don’t they do it? Why not pursue the right path, rather than stuffing it through against the national intrest, the United States Constitution, and least of all the wishes of many (many) Americans?

            Because they can’t.

          • KalashniKEV

            CR,

            It’s not like the Left doesn’t keep up a constant drum beat of calling us “ignorant” without any basis for doing so. I have merely pointed out that many Lefties on this thread have no idea what the Constitution… even IS.

            Also, if you recall my posting history, I don’t think Fire/EMS and Police are a bad thing… it’s the Gubbament Cheese and Corruption.

          • mehoo

            Mmmm, gubbament cheese.

          • mehoo

            G – I’m a Democrat, but what? Clinging to the Constitution? That goes both ways. I sure as hell cling to the 1st, 4th, 5th, 9th, or 14th amendments alot, usually when some rightwinger comes along trying to abuse them.

          • KalashniKEV

            MH,

            I tried to read G’s “clinging to the Constitution” comment as sarcasm… but I think he really means it!!! If you aren’t “clinging to the Constitution” what are you clinging to? Anarchy? Suppression of constitutional rights? Socialist authoritarianism?

            Remember how that stupid comment got The Great 0ne in trouble? I’ve personally lost my “cling” on religion, so now I’m clinging to my guns with both hands! = )

          • G

            England gets by just fine without an official governing document, or constitution.

          • G

            My overall point was that all conservatives can do is point out technicalities in the legislation. Where are their solutions?

          • mehoo

            Um, G, England has a Constitution, just not a written one. The powers of the various parts of the English government and state are limited and defined too.

      • Clarendude

        If the feds want they can just tie a states voluntary participation in the health care thing to the state receiving Federal highway money and then my guess is they would get pretty good participation voluntarily.

      • Westover

        Until they deal with the malpractice issue, the health care problems in regards to cost and access will continue.

  • KalashniKEV

    Regardless of your thoughts on Obamacare, isn’t it pretty obvious that the Fed has no constitutional authority to require a citizen to purchase health care… or worse yet force you to pay for the care of another?

    • el fat kid

      yeah, that’s simply not true…

      • KalashniKEV

        Just show me where…

        • el fat kid

          Article 1 Section 8: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
          ………
          The Congress shall have Power – To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” sounds pretty broad and sweeping to me…

          oh and then there’s that whole commerce clause but that’s way to long to explain in a comment section.

          For the record, cucinelli’s notion that writing a state law to trump a federal law is total horseshit and a practice that has already proven to be unconstitutional.

          Also, anyone else notice that Cucinelli had a fundraising ad up on Drudge within hours of the decision? Think there might possibly be some political motives involved?

    • CMG

      We ALREADY pay for the care of those who don’t have insurance…. That’s the point of making people pay! Have you not been paying attention? It’s the reason premiums are so high and our tax dollars go into it as well! Lord, do your research!!!

      • KalashniKEV

        I just want you to show me where the Constitutional Authority for this nonsense is derived from… that’s all. Chill.

        Do your research. And DO get back to me…

        = )

  • Banksy

    Gaah, my loathing for the Cooch knows no bounds.

    Interesting that the judge owns shares in a GOP consulting firm that lobbies against healthcare reform…

    http://gawker.com/5713041/judge-who-ruled-health-care-reform-unconstitutional-owns-piece-of-gop-consulting-firm

  • The Mothership

    The Constitution doesn’t mention income tax either. Maybe Cooch can get to work on that next!

    • Greg

      “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

    • KalashniKEV

      Mothership- It’s in the 16th Ammendment… I thought we were supposed to be the intellectually challenged side???

      = )

      • KalashniKEV

        *Amendment
        hahahaha

      • mehoo

        That one was too easy. Major softball.

        • KalashniKEV

          It was an honest fatfinger… my keyboard just got inundated with all kinds of drool and saliva once I started frothing at the mouth, and it seems to have overlubricated the M-key.

          • mehoo

            No, I meant the income tax. Who the hell doesn’t know the income tax is in the Constitution?

          • KalashniKEV

            “Who the hell doesn’t know the income tax is in the Constitution?”

            The Left wing America haters. Check out every thread… they come on here every day! “Americans are lazy. Americans are fat. Americans are stupid.” They all must be in the same cube farm of some government office, riding the stupid metro (or worse- Bicycles), and eating TV dinners and fast food together… they’re talking about each other.

          • mehoo

            I’ll bet there are just as many rightwingers who think the income tax isn’t in the Constitution either though.

  • Lacey Forest

    I think, according to some of the wording of the decision I’ve read, is that the decision hinged on the fact that the only purchase option is from a private provider. The government is forcing you to buy something from a commercial venture. What I take away from this is that were there a government-run agency that provided medical insurance, like the public option plan that was originally part of the health care reform bill, the decision would have been different. It’s kind of like the government bailing out the domestic auto industry by passing a law that said everyone had to go out and buy a car made by a US-based manufacturer.

    • Suburban Not Urban

      Yea – but then they would have to admit that what they really want, is a massive new tax to run a massive new boondoggle federal health plan that works worse than the private plans we have now.

  • Why not?

    In other news, register for Arlington’s Green Games: http://bit.ly/gm8gZJ

  • mehoo

    The nasty partisanship and us-against-them attitude on both sides, as evident on this thread, is partly why we can’t get to a better solution on health care.

    • Dan

      “The nasty partisanship and us-against-them attitude on both sides”

      Yes, it does seem as though both sides are trying to game health care to their benefit.

      Unfortunately the only losers are the vast majority of Americans.

      Political dialogue seems to be broken ……..

  • Dave

    I’m surprised no one has said the most obvious thing in response Courthouse Resident’s original statement. The [state] government does require you to buy insurance in order to drive, but they don’t require you to buy a car. This law is requiring you to buy something by virtue of being alive. If you don’t want to pay car insurance, there are plenty of other transportation options available (as many advocate for in the comments of this website). You don’t have to drive if you don’t want to. No one chooses whether or not they want to be born.

    • el fat kid

      good pt…. time to sue the cooch.

    • Suburban Not Urban

      +1

    • mehoo

      If only we could let people opt out of all healthcare and just die in the street if they didn’t buy insurance. But no, we bail them out anyway.

  • Justin Russo

    I wonder what Ken Cuccinelli will waste our tax dollars on next.

    • mehoo

      A pointless, politically-motivated lawsuit about global warming? Oh, wait…

  • Westover

    Sanity, or at least the Constitution, has finally touched this very badly written Healthcare Bill.

    • KalashniKEV

      +1

  • Arlingtony

    I’m not shocked that partisan hack Hudson sided with the Cooch. Birds of a feather. Carrying on in the tradition of massive resistance.

  • BarbinArlington

    There are plenty of federal mandates that we pay into–like social security (unless you are a gov’t employee). I don’t see why health care reform isn’t the same. Also. there is no difference between having to purchase insurance on our vehicles or pay into a special fund and having to have health insurance, especially since public health (who wants to work with or sit on the bus with someone who has the flu, or worse?) may be an issue. Furthermore, health reform will likely reduce the amount my medical bills are raised because now I’m paying for those who cannot/will not pay in emergency rooms, et al. I’m glad the President signed the health reform, especially for those with pre-existing conditions who would never have been able to find or afford health insurance. I’m also glad health reform is a spelled-out federal mandate, because as we’ve seen with Medicare (where states get federal funds but can spend the funds pretty much as they want), some states do not use their Medicare funds as wisely as others.

    • el fat kid

      “There are plenty of federal mandates that we pay into–like social security (unless you are a gov’t employee)”

      when did govt employees stop paying social security taxes?

      • mehoo

        Some aren’t covered by SS.

        • el fat kid

          don’t see any exemptions from paying for federal employees…

          • mehoo

            Look at my link below.

          • el fat kid

            state and local…

      • Westover

        It is a tiny fraction of Federal Employees who can avoid paying Social Security, and most of them will retire in the next five years. Barb infered that no government employee pays SS, that is blatently false and a rumor that is spread by those with an agenda.

    • Westover

      Barb, your first line is so misinformed and incorrect that I did not continue to read.

  • Arl_Bill

    Other than those that would fall under the current safety net of Medicaid, this is about government removing our choice and subsidizing people that won’t act as adults. Obamacare will turn healthcare from a wedding cash bar to an open bar, and we know how ugly that will be. Being self-employed I spend ~$9500/yr currently for my coverage, which BTW with the next increase will probably slide me into additional taxes. I should not have to pay an additional tax because of my decision to have a low deductable AND I should still have the option to choose a high deductable plan, NOT some DC clown dictating a minimum required coverage or higher taxes or fines. If someone actually needs help fine, I’m all for that, but I do not want to subsidize some infantile adult that chain smokes, drinks too much, is 400+ pounds, but would rather waste their money instead of being responsible.

  • Arl_Bill

    If it’s such a great idea, what’s with the exceptions?

    The Service Employees Benefit Fund, which insures 12,000 SEIU health-care workers in upstate New York, secured its ObamaCare exemption in October. The Local 25 SEIU Welfare Fund in Chicago also nabbed a waiver for 31,000 enrollees. The SEIU was one of ObamaCare’s loudest proponents. The waivers come on top of the sweetheart deal that SEIU and other unions cut with the Obama administration to exempt them from the health-care mandate’s onerous “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health-care plans until 2018.

    Other unions that won waivers:
    * United Food and Commercial Workers Allied Trade Health and Welfare Trust Fund.
    * International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union No. 915.
    * Asbestos Workers Local 53 Welfare Fund.
    * Employees Security Fund.
    * Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 123 Welfare Fund
    * United Food and Commercial Workers Local 227.
    * United Food and Commercial Workers Local 455.
    * United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1262.
    * Musicians Health Fund Local 802.
    * United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund.
    * International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.

    • KalashniKEV

      Damn… so you’re telling me that the only way to escape Obamunist tyranny is to join the Asbestos Union? Oh well… I guess I have to if I want to remain free…

      (And for those here who think the Framers didn’t envision the “need” for socialized medicine- they DID in fact envision future scenarios such as this, and placed checks and balances accordingly)

      • mehoo

        No, he’s not telling you that.

        • KalashniKEV

          Good, I hate Unions.

          • mehoo

            Unions gave you paid holidays, among many other benefits – including health care by the way. Think about that when you’re off for Christmas.

    • mehoo

      So they have time to negotiate with employers to LOWER their health benefits to the point where they are not taxed if they want to, possibly in exchange for other benefits in their contracts.

      Simple answer. But it’s so much more fun to not actually look for the answer and assume some kind of goofy rightwing conspiracy instead.

  • el fat kid

    All you nuts arguing against the constitutionality of ‘health insurance mandates’ do realize it started off as a conservative idea, right?

    From Nixon to the Heritage Foundation to Mitt Romney – all have argued in favor of mandated health insurance. I know facts are often inconvenient to the Tea Party nuts, but you’d think the Republican political leaders would at least display some intellectual honesty if not consistency.

    • mehoo

      Silly el fat kid – any idea that Obama supports must be bad.

    • KalashniKEV

      Why do I care who’s for it??? I’M against it. I’m not a Conservative either, I just want to see where it says they can make me buy something…

      • el fat kid

        are you also against social security? mandated testing of the country’s meat supply? registering with the selective service system?

        would you prefer to live a “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short” life?

        At it’s heart the Constitution is a social contract in which freedoms are both given and restricted, complicated with benefits and burdens, to maintain political and social order and the overall protection of civil rights and an individuals well-being. There is clear authority for HCR in several clauses of Article I Section 8 of the constitution – as a majority of constitutional scholars, judges and politicians from both sides of the aisle have argued.

        • KalashniKEV

          Social Security can go away, I’d rather invest the money myself. Meat testing sounds reasonable, and Selective Service could be replaced by a national ID card, an idea which I am warming to lately.

          There are checks and balances, correct. Health Care is not something that should be provided or sold by the government. Forcing people to buy it from them is unconstitutional, and will be proven in the Supreme Court shortly.

          • mehoo

            “Health Care is not something that should be provided or sold by the government.”

            So now you think Medicare and Medicaid are unconstitutional?

    • Westover

      Nixon and Mitt’s plans were far different than the fiasco that was jammed through this go round.

      • el fat kid

        you’re right! they were both far more expansive in requiring people to purchase health insurance.

        • Westover

          Nixon’s provided for those who could not afford healthcare, in no way did his plan require it or cut into the coverage of those who already had it.

      • KalashniKEV

        I wouldn’t care if you told me Theodore Roosevelt wanted me to serve 5 years in the Peace Corps… it would still be a stupid idea.

        • mehoo

          Fine – just be sure not to go around saying it’s a “liberal” idea or whatever people like to say.

          • KalashniKEV

            From this post forward I will only refer to Obamacare as the “stupid” idea designed and put forth by liberals to increase Americans level of dependence on government, reach into the working man’s pocket to pay for sickly uninsured Bums, and increase the size and power of the Federal Government… that is also similar in some ways to ideas Bill “the crook” Nixon and Mitt “Mormaniac” Romney once had. = )

          • mehoo

            Hey, you’ve already proven that you can’t be stopped from saying things that are pure silliness. 😉

          • KalashniKEV

            Evil will never prevail, but we must remain vigilant and stay true to our founding principles.

            Obama might as well place his new focus on naturalizing criminal aliens, he’s going to need them in the voting booths come next election!

  • Anon

    I wish people would stop with the auto insurance analogy already. The government doesn’t force everybody to buy auto insurance. It is only required if you CHOOSE to drive a car. If I were to choose to stay away from all medical treatment, I shouldn’t be forced to buy health insurance.

    • G

      Not everyone can choose to stay away from all medical treatment (unless they’d rather die). Accidents happen, and many seemingly healthy people get cancer or other chronic or genetic diseases that are out of their control.

      • Suburban Not Urban

        Except there are folks like Christian Scientists that don’t do any medical care yet they will be required to buy health care. Hey – what about fighting this on freedom of religion grounds.

        • el fat kid

          for some reason i don’t feel bad for people who watch their children die from not treating strep throat…

    • mehoo

      Right. That’s why I wish we could just have people sign a waiver that says “I will forego all medical treatment that I don’t pay for myself, in cash, even if it means I’ll die, for the rest of my life” in order to not buy insurance. Simple, really. Some would sign, and some would see it and wake the hell up.

      • PikeHoo

        +1

  • hobbit

    He mentions Federal coersion of states, but not coersion of individuals. Contract under duress or undue influence is the right precedent. Why doesn’t he mention it? Auto insurance is different because driving is not a right, it is a privilege. Driving is optional. having a body is not. Buying health insurance is mandatory for all who have a body. Car insurance is contingent on owning a car. Owning a car is economic activity , and subject to regulation. Having a body is not economic activity. The potential for needing medical care is economic inactivity. Only voluntary actions can be regulated. Inactivity is not commerce. Removing this Constitutional barrier leaves nothing immune to the power of the federal Government. He is right about that.

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