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Cuccinelli "pleased" with Florida health care ruling

Rosalind Helderman

Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli (R) said he's "pleased" a Florida judge has ruled a 20-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care bill can move forward.

Cuccinelli has filed a separate suit against the law which is moving a bit faster through the court system.

A federal judge in Virginia already gave him the same ruling in August. The Virginia suit essentially goes to trial on Monday, with the judge hearing oral arguments on Cuccinelli's motion for summary judgment in the case. Both sides have said they expect the U.S. Supreme Court to ultimately determine whether the law is constitutional.

In a statement, Cuccinelli said he was "especially pleased that the judge found the federal government's use of the Commerce Clause to justify the individual health insurance mandate is unprecedented in American history."

This is a key point because the federal government argues it can legally require individuals to purchase health insurance or face a fine because the constitution gives Congress the authority to regulate interstate commerce.

The federal government has also said the fine assessed against those who do not buy insurance will be equivalent to a tax, and the constitution allows Congress to levy taxes.

But Cuccinelli said in his statement that judge spent 20 pages of Thursday's ruling determining the fine is a penalty instead of a tax.

"This means that the government will have to base its claimed authority to regulate inactivity on the Commerce Clause," he said in his statement.

A spokeswoman for the United States Justice Department has said the administration is disappointed the Florida judge has allowed the case to proceed but is confident the law's constitutionality will ultimately be upheld.

By Rosalind Helderman  | October 14, 2010; 6:47 PM ET
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli, Rosalind Helderman  
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Comments

Cuccinelli is a nutcase like the VA Governor who seeks to go backwards a century or two. It is time for the 'tea party' brownshirts to put away their loony literature and armaments and accept that health care is a part of our nation. We are not totally a nation of servants for the wealthiest so far.

Posted by: revbookburn | October 14, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

revbookburn - The only nutcase around here is you. The Federal Government does not have the right to force somebody to purchase any good or service against their will. And Obama's Health Care forces you to purchase Health Insurance, even if you don't want it. It would be like saying, the Government mandates that you buy a firearm. If you refuse, you'll be fined as a penalty for not complying with the Government.

Posted by: AlbyVA | October 15, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Thank god we have someone looking out for tax paying citizens of Virginia.

Posted by: priveye | October 15, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

"Cuccinelli is a nutcase like the VA Governor who seeks to go backwards a century or two. It is time for the 'tea party' brownshirts to put away their loony literature and armaments and accept that health care is a part of our nation. We are not totally a nation of servants for the wealthiest so far.
Posted by: revbookburn | October 14, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse"

lets see, I have been unemployed and don't have the means to buy health insurance...
will I get fined...
for being poor...
and because I am white...
I will not be helped...
I have already faced discrimination by a black free clinic administrator in fairfax county...

Posted by: DwightCollins | October 15, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Nutcase for the AG and Gov sounds correct to me. Can't wait to NOT vote for either one again.

Posted by: citigreg | October 15, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

After all, the poor, minorities and children don't deserve health care in America. They're lazy, stupid and didn't work for it according to "Christian" teabaggers like Virginia's redneck AG.

Posted by: areyousaying | October 15, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: DwightCollins
lets see, I have been unemployed and don't have the means to buy health insurance...
will I get fined...
for being poor...
and because I am white...
I will not be helped...
I have already faced discrimination by a black free clinic administrator in fairfax county...
*******************
if you used some of your time to actually read the law instead of merely vomiting sound bites then you would know that subsidies are availible based on income levels. And aren't you a whiney little B - "everybody's discriminating against me..." Waaah, waaah, waaah.

Posted by: overed | October 15, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

@AlbyVA

You may challenge the idea that the Federal Government has the right to force individuals to purchase goods or services against their will. In point of fact (and law), it happens everyday.

Do you have auto insurance? Is it legal to own a car without it? Your car probably has a catalytic converter. Can you buy a car without one?

All governments make choices that compel citizens to make particular consumer choices everyday.

@Dwight

Actually no. As I understand it, under the health care law your health insurance would be subsidized and you would not be fined.

As for the discrimination you experienced at the health care clinic, that sucks big time. Unfortunately, discrimination seems to be equal opportunity and can crop up anywhere these days.

Posted by: jlaprise | October 15, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

The VA Attorney General remains a man of bigoted speech, actions, and ideas. I truly feel sorry for the reputation of the Commonwealth of Virginia, aa this man is pitiful. He should have been born 250 years ago and lived on a plantation.

Posted by: fairness3 | October 15, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"After all, the poor, minorities and children don't deserve health care in America.
Posted by: areyousaying"

There you go with your Washington Monument syndrome. Poor citizens and children, regardless of race, already had access to health care, government health care in fact.

Obamacare was about regulating the market for the middle and upper classes. It was about forcing businesses to expand benefit programs. It was done so increase government power.

It was about exchanging exemptions for political donations to Democrats. Look at the data. Health care lobbying dollars went 2-to-1 to Democrats this past cycle. Meanwhile the industry kept Part D, kept the current profits/admin to patient care ratios, got the individual mandate.

And for the uninsured, they pay $30 billion out of cost. The remainder of their costs are picked up by the government ($42B) and private market ($14B). That may now sound like a huge number to take on. But that's only $2000 per person. Obamacare forces them to buy insurance and will result in $122 billion in spending. That's a huge windfall for insurers. It's a huge burden on the uninsured. For those that receive a subsidy, fine, for those that contribution to the subsidy and for the country's increased health care spending, it's bad news.
http://www.kff.org/uninsured/upload/7809.pdf

Posted by: cprferry | October 15, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"You may challenge the idea that the Federal Government has the right to force individuals to purchase goods or services against their will. In point of fact (and law), it happens everyday.
Posted by: jlaprise"


You're right. You can challenge the Federal Government's right to force individuals. Not because in general governments do or don't have the legal right to, or in effect do or don't impact economic decisions. You can challenge their right because the Constitution stipulates that the FEDERAL government may not. The requirement to hold car insurance is a state requirement, one of the many responsibilities the Constitution did not grant to the federal government.

Posted by: cprferry | October 15, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Really? We are wasting tax payer dollars for this s*%t! You know why the "federal" government pass a law to help U.S. citizens to obtain health care insurance, is because the states were doing nothing to help more citizens get health insurance. If you have been lucky to not have a major health issue hit a love one, you have NO IDEA how tough it is to not have health insurance and face such a dilemma. It can bankrupt a family which creates another problem.

Are we that dis-compassionate to fellow citizens? If our cost do not go up or taxes are minimally affected, is it not better to have citizens on health insurance or any insurance than to not have them on insurance? Wow! Truly the land of the greedy.

And lets be real here folks, 20 states, 20 republican attorney generals. Do the math. It is the same old tired, sad song. Follow the South Carolina Senator's charge, DeMintt (however you spell his name), make health care reform the President's waterloo. Not about helping the average citizen or what is best for the nation. It is all about going against the President, saying no. This is U.S. politics, the politics of morons.

Posted by: ajackson3 | October 15, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Great. States do nothing for health care, federal government finally steps in to try to make life better for working people and idiotic ideologues like Cuchinelli try to make a name for themselves amongst their know-nothing friends by fighting it...all the while he's pulling down a taxpayer-funded salary. If you hate government so much, get the f* out of it, Mr. Cucinelli.

Posted by: JustTheFacts11 | October 15, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

JLaprise -

The car insurance argument has been tried ad nauseum and shot down every time. It is invalid as an argument and has no place in this discussion. First, a person only has to have liability insurance, which protects others. They do not have to have collision insurance. Second, each citizen retains the choice of whether to buy a car or not - it isn't unheard of that some people choose not to own a car and to ride bikes, use buses and trains, or walk to everywhere they go.
I have the right to not purchase health insurance, and the right to make the decision of when I will buy it (I will when I am ready to and when I wish to do so and not before) and it is an inalienable constitutional right as well as an inalienable pre-constitutional right. The constitution recognizes this right - it doesn't create this right and nothing can un-make this right. And it is a private matter - I need not justify this to you or anyone else. MYOB - this is my business and only mine, as yours is your business and only yours.

Posted by: SCOTSGUARDS | October 15, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Oh course he's pleased, he's waisting money in a futile attemp to fight progress for normal Americans - what could please a republican more than that?

Posted by: michael5 | October 15, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

to everyone who says we shouldn't be forced to have minimal insurance;
we already pay for it idiots. What do you think happens when an uninsured person is hit by a car? do we let them bleed to death by the side of the road? No, they're taken to an ER and who do you idiots think pays for this besides tax-payers? I repeat, you're an idiot!

Posted by: michael5 | October 15, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Cooch is a boob who thinks the VA government exists to push his idiotic "faith-based" agenda. Next he'll sue to have evolution declared unconstitutional and the law of gravity repealed because it's federal government overreaching.

I repeat: he's a boob.

Posted by: filfeit | October 15, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Bob, women belong in the kitchen, McDonnell and Ken, I'm sorry I can't help you with your foreclosure because I'm too busy peppering the federal government with frivolous lawsuits, Cuckoonelli.

Dear Virginians, what were you thinking when you voted for these fruit cakes?

Posted by: hodgensr | October 15, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

States do nothing to ? The whole idea of equalizing premiums for persons with pre-existing conditions came from the states' own high-risk pools. The federal government merely came in, took over what the states were already providing for the poor and children and made it mandatory for everyone. It's hardly good federal ideas fixing health care, it's a federal power grab.

Posted by: cprferry | October 15, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

This guy is despicable.

He belongs on Jersey Shore.

No, I'm sorry.

He does not have enough class to be on Jersey Shore.

If he tried to join the mob, they'd turn him down for having no ethics.

Loser.

Loooo

Zaher!

Posted by: trenda | October 15, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"

to everyone who says we shouldn't be forced to have minimal insurance;
we already pay for it idiots. What do you think happens when an uninsured person is hit by a car? do we let them bleed to death by the side of the road? No, they're taken to an ER and who do you idiots think pays for this besides tax-payers? I repeat, you're an idiot!

Posted by: michael5"

No you don't. The uninsured use less than half the health care of the insured. Furthermore the average uninsured pay at least 35% of their costs out of pocket.

The average uninsured is living rich off all of us because they refuse insurance. They don't need it. They don't want it.

That's in large part why the insurers want them. They'll be forced to pay 5-10 times the amount in premiums than they use.

It's not because their costs are dragging us all down, it's because the uninsured's health is dragging the risk pool of the insured down. The government is not seeking to penalize deadbeats, it's seeking to force healthy bodies into insurance pools.

Posted by: cprferry | October 15, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The car insurance argument doesn't work as an analogy because it is the STATE that requires you to purchase insurance (or pay the uninsured motorist's fee) and that determines the minimum coverage you must purchase. The FEDERAL government has nothing to do with the matter. The STATE government also regulates the auto insurance companies and determines which ones are licensed to do business in a given state. Your policy may differ substantially depending on your state of residence.

The medical insurance law is a very different situation because here the federal government is claiming they can force you to buy insurance because it's a regulation of interstate commerce. But health insurance is NOT a matter of interstate commerce. It's currently illegal (because the federal government banned it) to buy medical insurance from a carrier in another state, except to the extent your employer has an office in another state and obtains coverage for employees through a carrier located there. Put differently, I live in Northern Virginia and if I want to buy Blue Cross medical insurance, I have to go through CareFirst. Period. I can't go to Empire, or to BCBS-IL, or to any other one. The new law the Democrats forced through doesn't change this, so it cannot be a regulation of interstate commerce.

Posted by: 1995hoo | October 15, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

basically cuccinelli and his pals are trying to legislate from the bench.

you don't like universal healthcare? elect more goobers like you to fill congress and do away with it.
Congress, the representatives of the United States, passed a law. follow it.

cuccinelli is just grandstanding and wasting millions of tax dollars.

at least on the plus side, cuccinelli is a great poster child for the dangers of electing a republican tea bagger.

Posted by: MarilynManson | October 15, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The electorate was against Obamacare, the electorate made their message clear in town halls and in correspondence with their representatives.

Yet the representatives continued to push forward, MarilynManson. In fact Reid purposely pushed the Senate vote before Christmas recess to avoid having more representatives coming back scared/convinced by their constituencies. They gamed a CBO score by removing provisions and adding net-positive non-health care provisions (see the biofuel tax revision pushed by our own local Rep. Van Hollen). They gamed each other with back room deals, promises, careful politically convenient language, legislative restrictions, whole-sale blocking of any Republican amendments, exempted the bill from their own pay-go promise, and so on and so on.

If the legislature won't listen to the pleas of the electorate that what they're doing is wrong and unConstitutional, then it's perfectly appropriate for the Constitutional checks by the judiciary to challenge the legislature on Constitutional grounds.

A legislature can not set themselves above the law.

Posted by: cprferry | October 16, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

A glimmer of sanity out of our courts? Amazing. Go Cuccinelli!

Posted by: Russell_P_Davis | October 16, 2010 2:40 AM | Report abuse

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