Brent Finnegan -- December 14th, 2010
News of Judge Henry Hudson’s ruling that the key provision in the Obama health care law is unconstitutional spread quickly Monday afternoon.
Jeff Mellott reported that “the audience at a Republican luncheon in Harrisonburg cheered Monday when Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke, announced a U.S. District Court judge’s decision to strike down the federal mandate that nearly everyone must buy health insurance by 2014.” Goodlatte is quoted as saying the ruling is “only the beginning.”
Regardless of the court battle, Goodlatte said Republicans plan to introduce legislation to repeal the federal health care law when the GOP takes control of the House of Representatives next month.
Parts of the law that have strong public support and do not cost a lot of money should be reintroduced in a separate bill, he said.
Sen. Mark Obenshain called the ruling “a vindication for the majority of Americans,” and “a victory for the American people and for our constitutional principles.”
It remains to be seen whether Hudson’s ruling is a turning point in stopping the implementation of the reforms. The ruling could potentially help to keep the reforms in place:
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who brought the suit against the law, had tried to convince the court to enjoin the entire law to prevent it from being implemented. Hudson declined to do so—a decision that health reform advocates went so far as to declare a victory. “The victory is more significant than the loss—the legislation will continue to be implemented around the country,” says Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a health reform advocacy group. (via MoJo blog)
Harrisonburg resident and health reform law expert Timothy Jost wasn’t surprised by Hudson’s decision. Jost was quoted in this NPR story Tuesday:
Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University, says Judge Hudson fundamentally misunderstood what Congress was trying to do.
“Congress was trying to make private health insurance work,” Jost said. “It would be perfectly constitutional for Congress to make everyone participate in a single-payer system. That decision was made years ago with Social Security and Medicare.” Both of those programs are funded by payroll taxes.
Jost called Hudson’s ruling “very defective,” and expects it will be overturned by the appellate court or the Supreme Court.
Tags: health care