A health care setback

Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 10:58am

So far, the scorecard on the healthcare law is 2 for and 1 against. A Virginia district judge is the latest to weigh in on the President’s overhaul of the health care system, and his ruling is a blow for the administration.

Lawsuits have been brought against the healthcare law, or parts of it, all over the country, including Smith County.

Up to now, the plan has passed judicial muster. But the latest ruling could set the stage for the ultimate endgame…a hearing in the Supreme Court.

It is the President’s biggest accomplishment, and most controversial act. And yesterday, came the first legal setback for the ambitious health care reform law, and it took place in a Virginia courtroom.

Ken Cuccinelli is the Virginia Attorney General who brought the case. "Even the president and the Congress must act within the boundaries set by the Constitution," he said.

Federal District Judge Henry Hudson ruled that the law’s requirement that everyone purchase health insurance is an unconstitutional overreach.

Robert Gibbs, White House spokesman said, "We're confident it is constitutional and of 3 courts 2 have ruled in our favor.

That is one of the core pieces of the law and is meant to assure private insurers of a larger pool of customers in return for eliminating preexisting conditions and lifetime caps.

But, none of that matters in the big picture, and the government will now be forced to appeal, both this and an anticipated negative ruling coming in a Florida case.

Once the appeals process is over, the ultimate stop will be the Supreme Court.

The mandate doesn’t take effect until 2014, so for now, nothing changes. The appeals will kick in immediately, and once the appellate process is done, the next step is consideration by the high court.

Justice Breyer predicts it will happen, but probably not until 2012.

Here is a link to a unique debate among law professors put together by the New York Times…
http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2010/12/13/a-fatal-blow-to-obamas-health-care-law/blinkered-to-reality

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