Monday, December 13, 2010

Does The Current Administration's Health Reform Violate the Commerce Clause? Judge Henry Hudson Says Yes..."

Henry Hudson, a federal judge in Virginia, has ruled that the national health care reform law's requirement that health insurance be purchased "is unconstitutional." Forcing individuals to purchase health insurance violates the Constitution's "commerce clause, " reasoned Judge Hudson. The Washington Post

Unless overturned, the decision means that courts cannot enforce the law's requirement that Americans be fined if they don't have health insurance by 2014. "Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal circuit court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market," Judge Hudson explained. "In doing so, enactment of the [individual mandate] exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress under Article I [of the Constitution.]"

On the other hand, Judge Hudson did rule that the remaining broad portions of the law are legal and can go forward. Judge Hudson found no reason to halt implementation of remaining portions of the health reform law. This ruling arises out of the challenge filed by Virginia State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli who felt the law is contrary to the Commerce Clause. AG's website. Insurance companies argue that they will lose money without the requirement. While that may be true, that doesn't validate a federal mandate.

President Obama's overhaul of the nation's health care system passed in March. This is the first major set back for the reform. The other lawsuits in Detroit and Lynchburg, Va. upheld the President's health reform law. With a dispute in trial court decisions, the appellate process could last several years before it is ultimately decided by the Supreme Court. Judge Hudson, who is a Republican, has added fuel to the speculation that many of the constitutional challenges are politically motivated. New York Times. No kidding?

Update 5-2-11: While the election heats up, Trump and President Obama exchange zingers:

Update 7-3-13:  The government will not require employers to provide health insurance for their workers until 2015, delaying a key provision of Obamacare by a year. At issue: A bushel of complex (and fairly recently introduced) rules and reporting requirements for businesses. Retailers and restaurateurs would have been effected the most by the mandate. AP On Changes.


Anonymous said...

Good links.

Anonymous said...

So what do the docs think about all those folks being uninsured if this ruling holds up?

Anonymous said...

So will the rest of the bill fall? Or will the Supreme CT overrule judge Hudson?

Hawk said...

No politics here. It simply violates the prohibition of interfering with interstate commerce.

Legal Pub said...

Update 5-2-11: While the election heats up, Trump and President Obama exchange zingers:

Anonymous said...

A shameless plug for a poster on this site? How nice.