Obamacare Challenge Still Alive in Virginia
Ah checks and balances. Like many states throughout this nation, Virginia filed an action challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare. Specifically, the action challenged whether the requirement that everyone purchase health insurance was appropriate. The federal government recently filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, basically arguing that the mandate constituted a tax, and therefore, could be levied by Congress. This argument made sense…if you’re either retarded or a lawyer. Anyone with a little bit of common sense and a fifth grade grasp of the english language recognizes the difference between a tax and a mandate to purchase a product on the private market. Well, I’m glad to say that a Virginia judge proved he’s neither retarded nor a lawyer.
‘The congressional enactment under review — the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision — literally forges new ground and extends (the U.S. Constitution’s) Commerce Clause powers beyond its current high watermark,’ [Judge] Hudson said in a 32-page ruling.
I’m not going to lie; I feel a little vindicated here. I know, I know, it’s just one judge and the matter still needs to go to trial, but at least Judge Hudson agrees with me that Obamacare’s mandate is unprecedented. I’ve heard from some people for months that it’s just another tax or it’s clearly within Congress’s powers under the Commerce Clause. Well, it appears as though I’m not the only one who thinks Congress has ventured into uncharted waters here.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the ruling rejecting the Obama administration’s motion to dismiss the case was a procedural step and that the passage of the healthcare reform law has ‘full constitutional backing.’
“Full constitutional backing?” Well that’s a relief. And no Ms. Sebelius, the denial wasn’t simply a procedural step. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say it means the Virginia court will deem the law unconstitutional. That’s just my gut talking though, so we’ll see. In any event, I’ll be shocked if this issue is not ultimately taken up by the Supreme Court at some point.
Now, why does this matter? It’s only one provision you say? Well, it matters because without the mandate, Obamacare is dead. Without everyone being required to purchase insurance, Obamacare will be even more expensive than it is now (yes it is possible), which wouldn’t fly with a Congress that was barely able to pass the monstrosity in its current form and is looking likely to move a lot more to the right come November.