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Va. health-care suit can go forward, federal judge rules

RICHMOND -- A federal judge Monday morning refused to dismiss a Virginia lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health-care law, handing the law's foes their first victory in a courtroom battle likely to last years.

U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson rejected arguments from Obama administration lawyers that Virginia has no standing to sue over the law and no chance of ultimately prevailing in its constitutional claim.

"While this case raises a host of complex constitutional issues, all seem to distill to the single question of whether or not Congress has the power to regulate -- and tax -- a citizen's decision not to participate in interstate commerce. Neither the U.S. Supreme Court nor any circuit court of appeals has squarely addressed this issue," Hudson wrote in his 32-page opinion.

Virginia's suit, lodged by Republican Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli II, argues that Congress overstepped its constitutional authority when it included a provision in the law mandating that citizens purchase health insurance by 2014 or pay a fine.

Cuccinelli filed the suit moments after President Obama signed the sweeping health-care bill into law, citing the federal law's conflict with a new Virginia statute that made it illegal to require state residents to purchase health insurance.

The ruling is only a procedural step, paving the way for a full hearing on the legal arguments of the issue in the same Richmond courtroom in October. However, if Hudson had dismissed the suit at this early stage, the ruling would have provided powerful ammunition for the law's supporters, who believe such suits are frivolous political exercises.

President George W. Bush appointed Hudson to the bench in 2002.

A federal judge in Florida is weighing a similar motion to dismiss a separate suit challenging the law filed jointly by 20 other states. Like Virginia, those states also contest the constitutionality of the individual mandate. In addition, they contend that the law infringes on the sovereignty of states by requiring them to expand their Medicaid programs.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  |  August 2, 2010; 10:11 AM ET
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli , Rosalind Helderman  
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Next: Cuccinelli pleased with health ruling, while feds express confidence in case

Comments

Too late Virginia judge. The people who did not have health insurance before passage of Health Care, will now scream like stuck pigs if Health Care is taken away. This is going to be the case even if they did not support President Obama's effort before. The same people who were against passage of the bill will now blame Obama for not being forceful enough in fighting to keep Health Care insurance.

Posted by: jordor | August 2, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Ultimate fail, barry!

Posted by: jjjjjj1 | August 2, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

It seems GWB's choice is going to protect us from becoming a socialist nation.

Posted by: bmadden3 | August 2, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

This is the beginning of the end of odumbocare...

Posted by: civilemik | August 2, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

This is the beginning of the end of odumbocare...

Posted by: civilemik | August 2, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Roz - Thanks for the hot link to the actual decision. Do they pay you enough?

This is just one of the initial steps in litigation, similar to the initial steps in Arizona's immigration litigation that went another way, that allows the conversation to move to another level. It is complicated political and legal material and very interesting to follow. However, except for the time and energy demands on the people actually involved in the litigation, this decision impacts no one and changes no policy. Eventually the Supremes will have to decide very detailed questions about how much power is delegated to the United States and how much is reserved to the states under the 10th Amendment. Until then, let us all make two sets of plans to address health care costs and coverages and make good decisions every day, including every meal, to lower our risks of disease and injury and increase our levels of fitness so we can enjoy the light ocean breeze.

Posted by: ralphgrutzmacher | August 2, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Idiots... let's WASTE MILLIONS of MILLIONS of dollars to try and make a point.

Typical GOP values.

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Posted by: A-Voter | August 2, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Idiots... let's WASTE MILLIONS of MILLIONS of dollars to try and make a point.

Sounds like Obama's lawsuit against Arizona.

Posted by: the5wins | August 2, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to following this lawsuit. Though it will be overshadowed because it involves healthcare it addresses a more elemental question, the right of the individual in today's United States. Having the Federal Government force the individual to buy healthcare insurance forewarns of other possible "musts" that the individual could face. Right now, as the old saying goes, only death and taxes are mandatory. There is a lot at stake here for Americans. The real question is have we moved where the Constitutional rights granted the individual have or will be usurped as the politicians move to give rights to "groups"? It should be interesting times.

Posted by: staterighter | August 2, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

jordor drones on-

Too late Virginia judge. The people who did not have health insurance before passage of Health Care, will now scream like stuck pigs if Health Care is taken away.

============================
Let them scream. This isn't Los Angeles, the projects or the barrio.

These po' people don't pay taxes and receive an EIC credit, if they file tax returns, not to mention 2 years of unemployment compensation, WIC, Food Stamps, welfare and free school breakfast and lunches. Now we have to subsidize their insurance? Not hardly!!!

Let them file for Medicaid or get a job!!!

The taxpayers are sick of supporting the shiftless and lazy.

See these articles-
Why work, when you can be on Funemployment?

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-funemployment4-2009jun04,0,7581684.story

Free Lunches:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-summer-meals-20100630,0,6438591.story

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | August 2, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse


one4all:

You know, I find it curious that, when judges recommended for appointment by one political party rule against some position taken by another party, somehow the hue and cry from those disppointed by a decision always reduces to some alleged pre-conceived political leaning of the judge or judges; i.e., 'What did you expect?!'

However, what I find most curious is the loudest complainers are from the left of the political sprecturm, as opposed to the right. Because it seems to me the left side finds constitutional guarantees sometimes pesky in their pursuit of a higher "public good".

Just my observation.

If you actually took the time to read the Judge's decision on this very preliminary matter, it is correct.

The constitutionality of a mandated tax [some might call it a penalty] on any citizen who chooses not to participate has been the 6,000 pound gorilla sitting in the corner of the room since this debate began, but neither the Congress or the President had the intestinal fortitude to address it.

Personally, it seems reminiscent to me of poll taxes, which were uniformly ruled unconstitutional decades ago. That was a tax for the privilege of voting.

This tax [penalty] is for the privilege of simply being a U.S. citizen, which seems even more egregious to me, and raises significant constitutional questions.


Posted by: LAWPOOL | August 2, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea whether the health care law is constitutional or not. But I do know that this judge does not understand the meaning of the word "interstate." Buying health insurance clearly has nothing do with "interstate commerce." In fact, that has been one of the major complaints of health insurance -- and one that the new law does not address -- the fact that health insurance is not portable between states. If you purchase insurance in Virginia, you cannot use it in Maryland or any other state. Nor can you take it with you if you move. Purchasing health insurance is therefore not "interstate." It is "intrAstate." This judge needs to invest in a dictionary.

Posted by: crashprevention | August 2, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

odumbo care is DEAD ON ARRIVAL!!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Posted by: jjjjjj1 | August 2, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

crashprevention wrote:

...I have no idea whether the health care law is constitutional or not. But I do know that this judge does not understand the meaning of the word "interstate." Buying health insurance clearly has nothing do with "interstate commerce."...Purchasing health insurance is therefore not "interstate." It is "intrAstate." This judge needs to invest in a dictionary.

--------------------

Wow, your ignorance is showing...the Federal Government uses the Commerce Clause of the Constitution (it's power to regulate Interstate Commerce) as it's justification for almost everything it does, including this "Heath Care" law. You need to go back to school.

Posted by: KeythL | August 2, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

crashprevention wrote: I have no idea whether the health care law is constitutional or not. But I do know that this judge does not understand the meaning of the word "interstate." ..... Purchasing health insurance is therefore not "interstate." It is "intrAstate." This judge needs to invest in a dictionary.

///////////////////////////////////

LOL. It was the Obama administration that argued since INTERstate commerce can be regulated under the constitution and HCR was an INTERstate issue, the feds can regulate it. It's the opponents of HCR that argue that it is not. And the judge is saying that this is the issue that needs to be resolved. The judge is pretty much 100% right in his opinion.

Posted by: rush_b_right | August 2, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

CRASHPREVENTER:

The whole healthcare law is premised on Congress' interpretation of its' power allowed under prior interstate commerce clause. Interstate is the correct word here. Whether or not it is appropriate use of these laws is what the legal challenges are exploring. Congress has used the interstate commerce clause to stick it's nose into all facets of American life, but never has this power been used to penalize citizens for not engaging in Congress' distorted view of what interstate commerce is. It's at the least a huge stretch of the laws and at it's worse it is socialism. "To each according to his need..." kind of thing. That's not, I repeat, not what the American republic was founded to provide. The Constitution is perhaps the most amazing doucument ever written by the hand of man, taking great pains to limit the power of the government to strong arm the citizenry. Over the years, Congress has seen fit to slowly chip away at the stones the Constitution set in it's path, to take more and more control over the daily lives and activities of Americans. The healthcare law is nothing short of using dynamite to move those stones. The long term implications of this use of the interstate commerce clause are quite scary for freedom loving Americans.

Posted by: BucMcmaster | August 2, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

One more indicator that the Judiciary, especially the Federal variety, needs to be purged of the ideological sycophants of Republican push to convert the Republic to a Fascist(Corporatist) regime of corruption in a typical unholy alliance with racketeering religious "leaders" and their ignorant followers! SCOTUS is such an obvious corruption; the largely hidden cesspool of lower Federal Benches are truly smelly and repugnant!

Posted by: CHAOTICIAN101 | August 2, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

KeythL and BucMcmaster, I think you missed Crashpreventer's whole point is that the Commerce Clause is over-used by Congress to regulate everything, even intrastate commerce. The question becomes: is this Constitutional?

Posted by: cooprego1 | August 2, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the same arguments would work for auto insurance ?

Posted by: jfristriut | August 2, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I can't for the life of me see how the mandate will pass constitutional muster, as the current precedent shows that the commerce clause doesn't give the federal government all powers it wants. So if a higher court says there's a "right to healthcare" which would be brand new, it would still not be able to require someone to purchase insurance. We have a right to free speech, but you cannot be required to partake in the rights. Just like you cannot be forced to vote, you cannot be forced to purchase health insurance. The people who are talking about "bush appointed" judge, etc, have no idea about constitutional law. This is a very cut and dry case.

Posted by: scoran | August 2, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Someone bright up auto insurance. Auto insurance is a STATE requirement, not federal. The STATES make you purchase it, IF and ONLY if you drive an automobile. It's within the state's police powers to require you to purchase it, because it is the powers reserved to the states because it wasn't enumerated in the constitution. So, it's a state level requirement, and you can avoid it by not driving a car. This, is a FEDERAL requirement, and exists for you so long as you have a pulse.

Posted by: scoran | August 2, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

This is great
THIS JUDGE IS SAYING;
NO MORE STATE TAX
NO MORE BUYING CAR INSURANCE
NO MORE PAYING SCHOOL TAX
NO MORE PAYING CITY TAX
NO MORE NO MORE PAYING FOR ROADS
MO MORE PAYING FOR POLICE OR FIREMAN
NO MORE PAYING SO TEACHERS.
WOW THIS IS GOOD - THANKS REPUBLICANS.

Posted by: ok4u | August 2, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"(Obama) care is DEAD ON ARRIVAL!!!"

No, it's not. And your copious use of exclamation points, jjjjj whatever your user name is, won't make it so.

The story makes plain this could take years to litigate. And the judge simply said Virginia's suit is not ridiculous and deserves to be considered. There's no telling which way future courts will go, including the Supreme Court.

Posted by: mypitts2 | August 2, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

well, THANK YOU REPUBLICANS
THE JUDGE IS SAY
NO MORE PAYING STATE TAXES
NO MORE PAYING FEDERAL TAXES
NO MORE PAYING FOR POLICE AND FIREMEN
NO MORE PAYING FOR SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS
NO MORE PAYING SALE TAX HAS TO BE PAID
NO MORE PAYING CITY TAX
NO MORE PAYING FOR TAXES AT ALL!!
DON'T HAVE TO BOTHER WITH THE IRS
THIS IS GREAT!!!

Posted by: ok4u | August 2, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"This is great
THIS JUDGE IS SAYING;
NO MORE STATE TAX
NO MORE BUYING CAR INSURANCE
NO MORE PAYING SCHOOL TAX
NO MORE PAYING CITY TAX
NO MORE NO MORE PAYING FOR ROADS
MO MORE PAYING FOR POLICE OR FIREMAN
NO MORE PAYING SO TEACHERS.
WOW THIS IS GOOD - THANKS REPUBLICANS."

Wow, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. The judge was referring to the commerce clause of the US constitution. That acts as a limitation on federal government powers. What you list are all STATE functions falling under the police powers of the state, and have absolutely nothing to do with this case, which is that of the FEDERAL government requiring you to make a purchase.

Posted by: scoran | August 2, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Here is what is wrong with health care: My wife takes a pill daily. It costs us $150 to get a prescription filled. That doesn’t include what the insurance company pays. We were told when the new health care rules kick in, the cost for this drug will probably go up 20 %. Someone is making a bunch of money.

We know because we have started buying the same drug, made by the same US company in the same box from Canada and it costs a total of $55. Our insurance company doesn’t pay a dime.

We are not going to bring down health care costs until they control the cost of drugs like Canada has and until we pass lawsuit reform.

Posted by: tonyjm | August 2, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

So, it turns out that observant Muslims are not only strictly forbidden from buying any health insurance under the ObamaCare mandate, but may also not even work for any company that provides such insurance or any other form of commercial insurance.
Exceptions: yet Mandates for others.......FAIR ?

Posted by: jandbcwp | August 2, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

It is an unfortunate reality, but one best understood and faced directly: we elected (and I voted for) a President who is fundamentally hostile to the basic principles upon which this country was founded, namely "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness", three entitlements conferred upon mankind by a higher authority than any possible human consensus.

Note, the Declaration did not say "Life, Liberty and Happiness", as the Left and the radical leaders of the Democratic party would have us all believe. This country was founded upon the notion that the opportunity to strive for a better life, and by the fruits of one's labor, enjoy it, must be protected at all costs. We are approaching conditions as dire as those which Abraham Lincoln faced when he was elected in 1860. How ironic that a President who has tried relentlessly to cast himself as the moral heir to Lincoln, is himself the primary focus of the malignancy that threatens us today.

Posted by: thomas777 | August 2, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, obviously not "happiness", the constitution was mean to deal with life, liberty, and property. The Declaration of Independence mentions happiness, but that's way too subjective to be any standard, and was not placed in the Constitution. What makes some people happy, would make others very unhappy. Think of pedophiles.

Posted by: scoran | August 2, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

folks are missing the point with respect to auto insurance. yes, you can avoid buying it if you don't drive. but the product you are being taxed for not buying isn't really health insurance, it's health care, and you can't choose not to buy that. under federal law, you have the right to have an emergency room treat you even if you can't pay for it. you can't guarantee you won't have a heart attack any more than you can guarantee that you won't get in to a car accident.

when you have your heart attack, unless you have insurance, I will get stuck with the bill when it's passed on by the hospital to my insurer and then to me. I'm just asking you to get insurance for the risk of you having a heart attack, just like I ask you to get insurance for the risk of hitting me with your car.

and the lack of portability under existing law, and the ability of insurers to impose pre-existing condition clauses, etc. that inhibits people from moving from job to job when they otherwise would, across state lines, that implicates the commerce clause. That's interstate.

Posted by: JoeT1 | August 2, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

JoeT1 sez: and the lack of portability under existing law, and the ability of insurers to impose pre-existing condition clauses, etc. that inhibits people from moving from job to job when they otherwise would, across state lines, that implicates the commerce clause. That's interstate.

Sure, we needed healthcare reform to address issues such as these you point out. We did not need and do not want a mandate telling us we must buy health insurance under pain of financial penalty.

Posted by: BucMcmaster | August 2, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"...question of whether or not Congress has the power to regulate -- and tax -- a citizen's decision not to participate in interstate commerce."

Firstly, it is NOT a tax. Please read the actual law. It is a PENALTY. If it were a tax, then it would apply to all and you could get an exemption.

Secondly, Congress clearly does not have the right to compel participation in interstate commerce. If they did, they could require everyone to buy a GM car or to buy a house. That would be a fix to the recession.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | August 2, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Someone who doesn't drive a car poses no risk of hitting you with a car.

You are forgetting the main point. Is that with autosurance, it's a STATE requirement to buy it if you want to drive. The health care mandate is a FEDERAL requirement. Nobody here argues that the state could not require you to buy health insurance. People might whine and complain, but the state has the power to have such a requirement. The federal government DOES NOT, and that's what this lawsuit is about.

Posted by: scoran | August 2, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

If this law is overturned i hope that also overturn the law that mandates that i care for the people that come to the ER without insurance!! If these idiots are so adamant that they do not want health care we should not be forced to give care. Maybe once we let natural selection run it's course we would have a better country where people care that their fellow citizens are dieing because of the lack of healthcare!!

Posted by: soscane | August 2, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

If lawyers and legislators would write laws in a clear unambiguous manner ther would be no need for this constant "interpretation".

Interpret English? Ridiculous.

It`s English not Greek.

Posted by: nanonano1 | August 2, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

tonyjm:

It's not just the cost of drugs, but the cost of procedures. Why should a simple X-ray on a machine that is already owned by the medical practice cost hundreds of dollars?

Posted by: mypitts2 | August 2, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Additionally, I think states only require liability car insurance. No one makes you buy insurance for you own costs.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | August 2, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

thomas777:

If you voted for Obama and are now surprised and angry that he passed a health care bill, when he said over and over and over that he would -- then you should pay attention and get informed before you cast a ballot.

The other alternative is that you're not telling the truth and didn't really vote for him.

I don't find his administration to be markedly different than what he said, except its not as progressive as I had hoped.

Posted by: mypitts2 | August 2, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

thomas777, I don't think anyone expected Obama to violate the Constitution is such a blatant manner.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | August 2, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

PS: To the lefty I just replied to, why would your children lose their home if you were uninsured and had high medical bills? Perhaps you wish the US were like a totalitarian communist state where they come after the families, but here in the US, family members are not legally obligated for the debts of their relatives (except spouses, as spouses are considered to be family for some reason). So maybe in the communist nation you wish to live in they can come after the families, but that doesn't happen in the nation we have now. Thank God.

Posted by: scoran | August 2, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Someone who doesn't drive a car poses no risk of hitting you with a car.

You are forgetting the main point. Is that with autosurance, it's a STATE requirement to buy it if you want to drive. The health care mandate is a FEDERAL requirement. Nobody here argues that the state could not require you to buy health insurance. People might whine and complain, but the state has the power to have such a requirement. The federal government DOES NOT, and that's what this lawsuit is about.

Posted by: scoran
____________________
actually, no. if the plaintiff's only had the difference between state and federal authority to hang their hat on, they would be up a creek. they are arguing that the tax amounts to a tax on NOT engaging in commerce at all (not buying insurance) and is therefore beyond the reach of the commerce clause. that argument would work under most state constitutions. my point is that the plaintiffs miss the point. while you may claim that it's health insurance that you are choosing not to buy, it's actually health care, and you have already bought it, through long standing federal laws that prohibit hospital emergency rooms from even checking your insurance before they examine you, let alone turning you away because you can't pay. You can choose not to buy a car and thus avoid the obligation to buy insurance (which ends any objection to mandatory auto insurance). In the case of health care, you are already 'driving' and you can't put the car in the garage. Every breath you take exposes the rest of us to the risk that you will get expensive emergency room care not be able to pay for it. I have the right to insist that you carry insurance for that risk.

Posted by: JoeT1 | August 2, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, even though I think that the reform effort was a watered down welfare program for insurance companies, and I firmly believe that basic universal health care is a right, I'm not surprised that the suit was filed, or that this judge gave his opinion, or that his opinion sided with Cuccinelli. I'm also not upset by it. Everyone knew that there would be some states that would try to fight it. This is normal, and it's "healthy" from the standpoint of political discourse. It's too early for anyone to claim victory. It may land in the supreme court, eventually. At some point, we'll see how it ends up.

Posted by: ninjagin | August 2, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

A future Congress simply needs to refuse to fund Obamacare, by presenting the POTUS with a budget that does not include funding for Obamacare.

A POTUS can veto such a budget...please! Don't! Stop! Don't throw us in the Briar patch!.... but he can't insert funding where none exists.

Riots in the street? Go for it. The universal sign for 'we lose.'

Posted by: Frediano_B | August 2, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

A future Congress simply needs to refuse to fund Obamacare, by presenting the POTUS with a budget that does not include funding for Obamacare.

A POTUS can veto such a budget...please! Don't! Stop! Don't throw us in the Briar patch!.... but he can't insert funding where none exists.

Riots in the street? Go for it. The universal sign for 'we lose.'

Posted by: Frediano_B
________________________
why bother with the subterfuge? a future congress can repeal it, change it, replace it, or do anything else it pleases, with the same majority vote. but if they get rid of the individual mandate, they will have to allow insurance companies to reinstate preexisting condition clauses, etc. and they will have to figure out how to keep spiraling health care costs from returning (universal coverage being a key cost containment provision as well), threatening our entire economy, not to mention Medicare.

sure you can repeal it. but then the problem gets worse. if Republicans actually had a better idea, we probably would have heard it. if the regain power, they will actually be accountable for the consequences of repeal. they have actually already figured out that they don't want that, so they are already downplaying any thought of repeal so voters don't expect them to try. Republicans don't actually want to revisit the issue because they don't have a better idea.

Posted by: JoeT1 | August 2, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Additionally, I think states only require liability car insurance. No one makes you buy insurance for you own costs.

Posted by: kitchendragon50
_________________________
correct, but you miss the point. if you get in a wreck, and don't have the money to fix your own car, I couldn't care less. but if you have a heart attack and the ambulance takes you to an ER, and you don't have the money to pay your bill, you still got the care, and the cost that the hospital eats will get passed on to me. so it's just like liability insurance, it's the risk that your conduct will cost me that gives me the argument to require you to buy insurance.

Posted by: JoeT1 | August 2, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

According to this logic, it must also be illegal, unconstitutional, immoral, and socialist for Virginia to require me to purchase automobile insurance, yet they do.

Let's all sue the Peoples Republic of Virginia for forcing us to pay for insurance. In fact, shouldn't Cuccinelli be suing himself, if what he really cares about is protecting the People's right not to be forced to pay for insurance?

Posted by: Jindokae | August 2, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

What many of you pro-health-insurance-mandate people are failing to realize is that personally responsible people who don't have health insurance pay their bills, therefore you are not stuck with higher health payments because of those of us who are responsible (further to this, those of us who do not have insurance also often enjoy lower rates for care because we do not have to help the hospitals pay for filing with insurance companies--we self-pay and receive a lower rate). The people you are speaking of who make your health costs go up are people who are criminals in the first place, skipping out on bills, taking what is not theirs, abusing the system that must take care of them out of humanity but giving nothing back to the system in return. Don't think that I exaggerate either. The people who have all their lives been honest and suddenly find themselves facing catastrophe have all their lives paid into the system that is already in place that is meant to help pay the cost of their bills--medicare/medicaid. Those who drive up costs are nothing more than criminals, taking what was never theirs, enjoying benefits that they have never contributed to. What makes any of you think that if they are willingly cheating the system now, they will suddenly change their minds and their morals and ethics and pay for health care in the form of insurance? They won't. Better yet what makes one think that they will suddenly decide to pay the penalties? That idea is laughable. What we have created is a system that penalizes only the honest citizens, who are already barely making it by the best they can and harming no one in the process. It will do nothing to resolve the problems created by the dishonest members of our society. They will continue to take, out the expense of everyone else, rich and now poor as well. They are already looking for the loopholes that they will use to cheat the rest of us of even more.

Posted by: LuthienKennedy | August 2, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

The Virginia health care lawsuit and the Arizona immmigration case will ultimately reach the Supreme Court, at which time we will witness Roberts' Revenge. It's not nice to excoriate the Supreme Court during the State of the Union address. Obama and his socialist agenda are toast; it will just take time.

Posted by: Chippewa | August 2, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

What many of you pro-health-insurance-mandate people are failing to realize is that personally responsible people who don't have health insurance pay their bills, therefore you are not stuck with higher health payments because of those of us who are responsible (further to this, those of us who do not have insurance also often enjoy lower rates for care because we do not have to help the hospitals pay for filing with insurance companies--we self-pay and receive a lower rate). The people you are speaking of who make your health costs go up are people who are criminals in the first place, skipping out on bills, taking what is not theirs, abusing the system that must take care of them out of humanity but giving nothing back to the system in return. Don't think that I exaggerate either. The people who have all their lives been honest and suddenly find themselves facing catastrophe have all their lives paid into the system that is already in place that is meant to help pay the cost of their bills--medicare/medicaid. Those who drive up costs are nothing more than criminals, taking what was never theirs, enjoying benefits that they have never contributed to. What makes any of you think that if they are willingly cheating the system now, they will suddenly change their minds and their morals and ethics and pay for health care in the form of insurance? They won't. Better yet what makes one think that they will suddenly decide to pay the penalties? That idea is laughable. What we have created is a system that penalizes only the honest citizens, who are already barely making it by the best they can and harming no one in the process. It will do nothing to resolve the problems created by the dishonest members of our society. They will continue to take, out the expense of everyone else, rich and now poor as well. They are already looking for the loopholes that they will use to cheat the rest of us of even more.

Posted by: LuthienKennedy
_________________________
please tell me you are joking? hospitals let self payers pay less than posted charges, but not less than they charge other insurance companies. no one pays posted charges actually. the discount you think you are getting is pure fiction left over from cost reimbursement days.

unless you are extremely wealthy, you won't be able to pay a hundred grand bill for a heart attack. and don't tell me that the 50 million or so who don't have health insurance are freeloading criminals. their employers don't provide it, and they have health problems that preclude them getting insurance in the individual market at all, or only at absurd premiums.

Posted by: JoeT1 | August 2, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

please tell me you are joking? hospitals let self payers pay less than posted charges, but not less than they charge other insurance companies. no one pays posted charges actually. the discount you think you are getting is pure fiction left over from cost reimbursement days.

unless you are extremely wealthy, you won't be able to pay a hundred grand bill for a heart attack. and don't tell me that the 50 million or so who don't have health insurance are freeloading criminals. their employers don't provide it, and they have health problems that preclude them getting insurance in the individual market at all, or only at absurd premiums. please tell me you are joking? hospitals let self payers pay less than posted charges, but not less than they charge other insurance companies. no one pays posted charges actually. the discount you think you are getting is pure fiction left over from cost reimbursement days.

unless you are extremely wealthy, you won't be able to pay a hundred grand bill for a heart attack. and don't tell me that the 50 million or so who don't have health insurance are freeloading criminals. their employers don't provide it, and they have health problems that preclude them getting insurance in the individual market at all, or only at absurd premiums.

__________________

Joe, the honest ones are not freeloading criminals--they have already paid in to the system that is already in place in the form of medicare/medicaid. The freeloading criminals are the ones that walk away from bills all together. They are the ones that drive up costs. Those of us who pay our bills shouldn't be punished because of the ones who don't pay their bills--that is the exact argument that you are making when you say that everyone should be forced to have insurance because you shouldn't have to pay for freeloaders. The difference is you are clumping everyone who doesn't have insurance into the freeloader category. There is a difference between a person who cannot afford insurance and self-pays and a person who cheats the system altogether by skipping out on bills. I don't want to pay for the freeloaders either, Joe, but I do pay for myself. AND if I have a heart attack, there is a system already in place, which I have paid into all of my working life. That system is failing not because of those of us who have legitimate claims but because of the thieves and liars out there who are criminals and don't pay in (that's a generalization, there are many reasons why medicare/medicaid is failing, but the number one reason is the theft).

Having said all of that, for the record I believe that universal health care is the only answer, but that universal health care cannot come in the form of forced overpriced insurance no one can afford for overpriced services that are arbitrarily obscured by elective procedures, irresponsible lifestyles, and generally unhealthy behaviors. Why should I pay for smokers, women who have eight babies, or implants and ED drugs?

Posted by: LuthienKennedy | August 2, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

"Idiots... let's WASTE MILLIONS of MILLIONS of dollars to try and make a point.

Typical GOP values." Posted by: A-Voter

Ok - let's waste TRILLIONS of dollars and take away the liberties of individuals in the process. Typical Democrat values - slavery mean compelling people to work for the good of someone else. I thought slavery was repealed, but if Democrats had had their way, it would be legal in all 50 states. This is the way they're getting back at the GOP.

Posted by: EowynR | August 2, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

According to this logic, it must also be illegal, unconstitutional, immoral, and socialist for Virginia to require me to purchase automobile insurance, yet they do.

Let's all sue the Peoples Republic of Virginia for forcing us to pay for insurance. In fact, shouldn't Cuccinelli be suing himself, if what he really cares about is protecting the People's right not to be forced to pay for insurance?

Posted by: Jindokae | August 2, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

----

Jindokae: You're not required to have car insurance in Virginia. All you have to do is pay the Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee (UMV) each year and you're golden. Of course, it is $500 a year, and you're putting money into the governments pockets instead of greedy insurance companies. It is your choice.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | August 2, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

If you oppose the requirement that you purchase health insurance, then are you OK with subsidizing visits by the uninsured to ER’s? Can we be up front about it and levy a tax to cover that, right now? Do you think auto insurance should be optional (I know, auto ownership is not mandatory — only if you want a job that’s not in a major city.) Do you think you should be relieved of taxes that pay for air traffic control? You’re required to purchase a service there, too, and it surely involves interstate commerce.

And if the requirement that you purchase health insurance (which, if you read the WP, you probably already do, and wouldn’t consider not doing) is so unconscionably onerous, what do you propose? We do nothing? We continue to pay way too much for way too little? Do we go for socialized medicine? What?

Cheers,
Jim Welke
(http://cyclopsvuethinks.blogspot.com/2010/08/bush-appointee-upholds-virginias.html)

Posted by: grassfedart | August 3, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

From JoeT1: correct, but you miss the point. if you get in a wreck, and don't have the money to fix your own car, I couldn't care less. but if you have a heart attack and the ambulance takes you to an ER, and you don't have the money to pay your bill, you still got the care, and the cost that the hospital eats will get passed on to me. so it's just like liability insurance, it's the risk that your conduct will cost me that gives me the argument to require you to buy insurance.

Please explain where in your argument, as given above or in any of your other posts, the power to appropriate my property and by definition my freedom, is enumerated in the powers designated to the Federal Government in the US Constitution? According to Madison's own words, "that which is not given is forbidden." It does not matter if the goal of Universal health care is noble or laudable - if the power to enact such a law is not within the powers enumerated, then it is not in the power of the Federal Government to provide such a 'benefit.' IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW MUCH YOU WANT IT OR HOW DESIRABLE IT SEEMS.

AS other posts have noted, it is completely within the power of each state to pass laws mandating coverage for all citizens; if I don't like it, I can move to a different state that does not treat my liberty and property so callously.

Posted by: vcoat | August 3, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

The Virginia AG says that to include people not involved in commerce in the regulating of commerce would extirpate federalism. I concur, and would like to add that the balance (between the US Government and the state governments) necessary for a viable system of federalism was lost a long time ago. Perhaps this is just now coming on the radar screen.
See: http://euandus3.wordpress.com/2010/08/03/1044/

Posted by: TheWordenReport | August 3, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

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