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Health Care Reform Act - court challenges
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bieramar



Joined: 19 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:42 pm    Post subject: Health Care Reform Act - court challenges  Reply with quote

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia Judge Henry Hudson, has issued his opinion that the provision of the Health Care Reform law which mandates insurance coverage "exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power."

The remainder of the law remains in force. The case was brought by Virginia Atty General Ken Cuccinnelli. The next appellate stop could be a 3-judge federal Appeals Court panel, or the full Appeals Court, on its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

I predict that Hudson's decision will ultimately be overturned by SCOTUS, based upon principles of the so-called Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution.

No decision has yet been issued in the similar case and same legal challenge in the Western District of Florida, brought by the Florida Atty General, and joined by other states' Attorneys General.  

Hudson was appointed as a federal District Judge in 2002.
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coebul



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You believe it is constitutional for the Federal Government to force you to purchase insurance?  

Interesting.
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bieramar



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I don't think it is constitutional for the federal government to force me, or anyone else, to purchase health insurance.

And since the Health Reform Act doesn't include such a provision, my opinion is on that moot and hypothetical situation you describe.

The provision of the law which mandates insurance coverage doesn't force everyone to purchase health insurance anymore than state laws which mandate vehicle insurance coverage forces every vehicle owner to purchase insurance.
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coebul



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bieramar wrote:
No, I don't think it is constitutional for the federal government to force me, or anyone else, to purchase health insurance.

And since the Health Reform Act doesn't include such a provision, my opinion is on that moot and hypothetical situation you describe.
Excuse me???  One of the major issues at stake is the federal government's requirement for "All" citizens of the country to either have or purchase health insurance.  

Hudson wrote:
"An individual's personal decision to purchase -- or decline purchase -- (of) health insurance from a private provider is beyond the historical reach" of the U.S. Constitution," Hudson wrote. "No specifically constitutional authority exists to mandate the purchase of health insurance."


bieramar wrote:
The provision of the law which mandates insurance coverage doesn't force everyone to purchase health insurance anymore than state laws which mandate vehicle insurance coverage forces every vehicle owner to purchase insurance.
Hudson disagrees.   Or are we going to tap dance around what the definition of "is, is".

Quote:
Hudson's ruling raised strong doubts about the government's authority to mandate the purchase of insurance coverage for individuals and employers.


http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/...re/index.html?hpt=T1&iref=BN1

Edited to Add===================

During the White House daily briefing when asked about this decision Robert Gibbs seemed to think this was a pivotal question in that unless all are forced to buy into a health insurance package the ability to maintain the pre-existing illness provision in the reform bill could not work.  (paraphrase_.
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bieramar



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coebul wrote:
[Emphasis mine/bieramar's] One of the major issues at stake is the federal government's requirement for "All" citizens of the country to either have or purchase health insurance.  

Hudson wrote:
"An individual's personal decision to purchase -- or decline purchase -- (of) health insurance from a private provider is beyond the historical reach" of the U.S. Constitution," Hudson wrote. "No specifically constitutional authority exists to mandate the purchase of health insurance."


bieramar wrote:
The provision of the law which mandates insurance coverage doesn't force everyone to purchase health insurance anymore than state laws which mandate vehicle insurance coverage forces every vehicle owner to purchase insurance.


Re-read what you initially wrote:
"You believe it is constitutional for the Federal Government to force you to purchase insurance?"

That is your statement to which I responded that the Health Reform law does NOT force anybody to purchase insurance.  

You then changed and expanded your statement to read "'All' citizens of the country to either have or purchase health insurance."

Your own second statement contradicts your first - by adding the "either have...." - and agrees with my statement that the law doesn't require purchasing.  

Get it?  The law does not require purchase of health insurance, and your first statement was your incorrect understanding/opinion - and I responded by pointing your error out.

The so-called mandatory health coverage provision of the two new laws (H.R.3590 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and H.R.4872 The Reconciliation Act of 2010) which we group together and collectively refer to as "Health Care Reform" or "Obamacare" doesn't click in until 2014 (assuming that Judge Hudson's opinion is overturned by SCOTUS).

Here's a detailed timeline of when the provisions of the new laws are effective through 2015, as applied to private sector insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, et al.
http://www.asjonline.com/News/201...ealth-Care-Reform-Provisions.aspx

Under the two laws, in 2014 all U.S. citizens and residents are required to be covered under some type of financial plan to pay for their health care, but there are many exceptions for categories of people who won't be able to afford to purchase health insurance, or who choose not to.  

The exception categories include the medically indigent (defined by the established poverty level which is adjusted annually), those incarcerated without income, those adults who are mentally, psychologically, or physically unable to earn money, certain religious sects, certain Amerindians, and any individual not in any of the previous categories who chooses not to purchase medical insurance.  Those latter individuals not included in the other categories who choose not to purchase health insurance, and whose income is above [EDIT: $ amount established by CPI] per annum, will pay an additional income tax.

It is precisely those exceptions under the law, and the Commerce Clause which will allow SCOTUS to overturn Hudson's finding.

PS: And there is no jail penalty for refusing to purchase health insurance as some idiot on Fox News was spouting a couple of days ago.


Last edited by bieramar on Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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coebul



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like I said earlier you pin your entire argument on the definition of "is".
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tsiya



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Highlights From the Ruling

A federal district judge on Monday sided with the state of Virginia in its challenge to the health law, saying Congress exceeded its "constitutional boundaries" when it required most Americans to carry health insurance or pay a fine.

Judge Henry E. Hudson of the Eastern District of Virginia said the provision in the bill, known as the individual mandate, "would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers." Below, highlights from his 42-page ruling. (See the full document.)

* * *

"A thorough survey of pertinent constitutional case law has yielded no reported decisions from any federal appellate courts extending the Commerce Clause or General Welfare Clause to encompass regulation of a person's decision not to purchase a product, notwithstanding its effect on interstate commerce or role in a global regulatory scheme. The unchecked expansion of congressional power to the limits suggested by the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers."

* * *

"[S]everal operative elements are commonly challenged in Commerce Clause decisions. First, to survive a constitutional challenge, the subject matter must be economic in nature and affect interstate commerce, and second, it must involve activity. ... In her argument, the Secretary [of the Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius] urges an expansive interpretation of the concept of activity. She posits that every individual in the United States will require health care at some point in their lifetime, if not today, perhaps even next week or next year... This broad definition of the economic activity subject to congressional regulation lacks logical limitation and is unsupported by Commerce Clause jurisprudence."

* * *

"At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance -- or crafting a scheme of universal health coverage -- it's about an individual's right to choose to participate."

* * *

"This Court is . . . unpersuaded that [the individual mandate] is a bona fide revenue-raising measure enacted under the taxing power of Congress. . . . No plausible argument can be made that it has 'the purpose of supporting the Government.'"

* * *

"Importantly, it is not the effect on individuals that is presently at issue -- it is the authority of Congress to compel anyone to purchase health insurance. An enactment that exceeds the power of Congress to adopt adversely affects everyone in every application."

* * *

"Salutatory goals and creative drafting have never been sufficient to offset an absence of enumerated powers."

* * *

"The shift in terminology during the final hours preceding an extremely close floor vote undermines the contention that the terms 'penalty' and 'tax' are synonymous."

* * *

"Having found a portion of the Act to be invalid. . . the Court's next task is to determine whether this Section is severable from the balance of the enactment. ... The most recent guidance on the permissible scope of severance is found in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Co. Accounting Oversight Board. 'Generally speaking, when confronting a constitutional flaw in a statute, we try to limit the solution to the problem, severing any 'problematic portions while leaving the remainder intact.' ... [W]ithout the benefit of extensive expert testimony and significant supplementation of the record, this Court cannot determine what, if any, portion of the bill would not be able to survive independently. Therefore, this Court will hew closely to the time-honored rule to sever with circumspection . . . . Accordingly, this Court will sever only Section 1501 and directly-dependent provisions which make specific reference to Section 1501."



http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1...8338.html?mod=WSJ_article_related
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bieramar



Joined: 19 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coebul wrote:
Like I said earlier you pin your entire argument on the definition of "is".


Youbetcha.

Your first phrase "force you to purchase insurance" IS incorrect.

Your second corrected phrase "to either have or purchase health insurance" IS correct.  

The meaning of IS = reality.
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tsiya



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"To either have or purchase health insurance" ?

Obviously if everyone just chooses to "have" and declines to "purchase" the whole damned scheme is gonna go to Hell, Chuck. Very Happy
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bieramar



Joined: 19 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tsiya wrote:
"To either have or purchase health insurance" ?

Obviously if everyone just chooses to "have" and declines to "purchase" the whole damned scheme is gonna go to Hell, Chuck. Very Happy


Not if those who have enough income, and decline to "purchase," pay extra income tax into the U.S. Treasury, which is then used to subsidize the poor who cannot afford to "purchase" - which IS the law as written.

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