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Federal judge tosses out sweeping health care reform act
Old 01-31-2011, 04:46 PM   #1
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Federal judge tosses out sweeping health care reform act

This topic should get some discussion:

Federal judge tosses out sweeping health care reform act - CNN.com

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Washington (CNN) -- A federal judge in Florida has ruled unconstitutional the sweeping health care reform law championed by President Barack Obama, setting up what is likely to be a contentious Supreme Court challenge over the legislation in coming months.
Monday's sweeping ruling came in the most closely watched of the two dozen separate challenges to the law. Florida along with 25 states had filed a lawsuit last spring, seeking to dismiss a law critics had labeled "Obamacare."
Vinson dismissed the key provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act-- the so-called "individual mandate" requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or face stiff penalties.
"I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and inequities in our health care system," wrote Vinson.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:00 PM   #2
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TG! Another opportunity to argue about discuss health care.
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:03 PM   #3
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Sigh.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:18 PM   #4
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As expected. This law seems to be on a slow death march to the SCOTUS.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
As expected. This law seems to be on a slow death march to the SCOTUS.
That's what this analyst is saying - ignore the preliminaries, wait for the finale.

Why Everyone Will Overreact to the Next Ruling on Health Care Reform - Andrew Cohen - Politics - The Atlantic

One thing I find interesting is that the judge tossed out the whole law because it lacked a severability clause - a sentence that says "if part of this law is tossed out, the rest is valid."

Severability Clause at Heart of Judge Vinson's Ruling That 'Obamacare' Is Unconstitutional
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Htown Harry View Post

One thing I find interesting is that the judge tossed out the whole law because it lacked a severability clause - a sentence that says "if part of this law is tossed out, the rest is valid."

Severability Clause at Heart of Judge Vinson's Ruling That 'Obamacare' Is Unconstitutional
And (from that link) here is the reason that there was no severability clause in the bill:

Quote:
An earlier version of the legislation, which passed the House last November, included severability language. But that clause did not make it into the Senate version, which ultimately became law. A Democratic aide who helped write the bill characterized the omission as an oversight.
That's some carefully crafted work there. Even the President in the SOTU speech got applause when he talked about "correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses" (the 1099 requirements). And we see that someone earning an extra dollar can incur several thousands in lost benefits. How many more flaws will appear, now that we "can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy"?

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Old 01-31-2011, 09:16 PM   #7
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(Transplanted from another thread)

From Judge Vinson's ruling:
Quote:
“It would be a radical departure from existing case law to hold that Congress can regulate inactivity under the Commerce Clause. If it has the power to compel an otherwise passive individual into a commercial transaction with a third party merely by asserting — as was done in the act — that compelling the actual transaction is itself “commercial and economic in nature, and substantially affects interstate commerce,” it is not hyperbolizing to suggest that Congress could do almost anything it wanted,”
This judge may have a bit of a sense of humor. He wrote (in questioning whether an individual mandate is required in order to achieve the law's stated goal):
Quote:
“I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that, ‘If a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house’” .
(see footnote 30 at below link)

Of course, today's ruling will be appealed. As a practical matter, some believe that states will use this ruling a rationale to stop implementation of the law--for now.

Full text of Judge Vinson's ruling
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:05 AM   #8
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Legal scholars said the opinion is text book for decisions, well written and complete. This really should be fasttracked to the supremes so we have clarity, otherwise its just another anchor tied to the economy.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:29 AM   #9
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Legal scholars said the opinion is text book for decisions, well written and complete. This really should be fasttracked to the supremes so we have clarity, otherwise its just another anchor tied to the economy.
TJ
Can anyone comment on the roadmap at this point? What triggers the SCOTUS to accept/decline a hearing? How long before they accept/decline? How long to issue a ruling? Generally, of course.

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Old 02-01-2011, 09:09 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Can anyone comment on the roadmap at this point? What triggers the SCOTUS to accept/decline a hearing? How long before they accept/decline? How long to issue a ruling? Generally, of course.

-ERD50
I think they would generally wait for a conflict among the circuits and then put it on the calendar for next year. But this could be interesting. IANAL but I would expect the next step will be an appeal coupled with a request for stay. If the appeals court sustains the decision it becomes the law in that circuit. Unless it was stayed at that point it could adversely effect people (kids under 26, certain pre-existing condition situations, etc.). That might warrant fast tracking by SCOTUS. Lots of fun ahead.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:56 AM   #11
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Why don't the judges that approved the health care reform act get as much publicity.

When you think about it the challenges to health care reform come from Republican Attorney Generals, in states with overwhelmingly Republican Governors and Republican appointed judges. The split in the opinions is surprising.

I'm glad I live in MA where the insurance mandate has been a reality for a number of years and we have 98% coverage. Costs are still an issue, but there are plans for that too.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:59 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by nun View Post
Why don't the judges that approved the health care reform act get as much publicity.
I don't know, why not? No one is stopping you from starting a thread on the subject.

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Old 02-01-2011, 10:00 AM   #13
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Sigh.
Oh come on! So much has happened since the last discussion. And the one before that. And the one before that.

Besides, so many fertile minds, undecided, looking for objective analysis, just searching for a opportunity to express an opinion that is new and original.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:02 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by nun View Post
When you think about it the challenges to health care reform come from Republican Attorney Generals, in states with overwhelmingly Republican Governors and Republican appointed judges. The split in the opinions is surprising.

I'm glad I live in MA where the insurance mandate has been a reality for a number of years and we have 98% coverage....
I hope this doesn't turn too politically partisan here, but let's not forget that a Republican was governor of Massachusetts when the health care laws were passed there, and he was a driving force behind it. Careful with the broad partisan brushes.

Let's see how long we can keep Porky out of this one.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:03 AM   #15
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I don't know, why not? No one is stopping you from starting a thread on the subject.

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I was thinking of the media in general, not the somewhat parochial ER forum.

I suppose it comes down to bad/negative news being more dramatic.....never though I'd sympathize with Rumsfeld.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:07 AM   #16
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My advice: Put this thread on ignore and save your blood pressure.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:08 AM   #17
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I was thinking of the media in general, not the somewhat parochial ER forum.
I dunno, but googling this:

"courts uphold health reform"

provided 334,000 hits. And the first page at least all seemed to be exactly on subject.

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Old 02-01-2011, 10:09 AM   #18
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I hope this doesn't turn too politically partisan here, but I have to ask you: who was governor of Massachusetts when they implemented their mandate? And what was his political party?

These are the hazards of throwing around party labels and playing politics as a full contact team sport.

And with that, let's keep the pig away from this thread, shall we? Talking about the law is one thing; focusing on partisanship is another.
Yes it was Mitt. Funny how he's running from that one now. The MA law was an excellent example of a Republican Governor and a Democratic legislator fashioning a solution and a great example of cross party cooperation. The fact that Mitt cannot use the success of this healthcare legislation in his run for the Republican nomination shows how partisan this has become.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:09 AM   #19
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I suppose it comes down to bad/negative news being more dramatic.....never though I'd sympathize with Rumsfeld.
Based on the polling, more people would consider the repeal of this law to be "positive" rather than "negative" news, so I don't think that is it. Unless maybe, opinions in "the media" might differ from the public in general.

I think the reason is a lot more simple: A ruling upholding the law isn't news because it has no practical effect. It changes nothing. But a single ruling that strikes down part of the law, or the entire law (in the most recent case) and which is upheld all the way to the SCOTUS changes everything.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:11 AM   #20
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Yes it was Mitt. Funny how he's running from that one now. The MA law was an excellent example of a Republican Governor and a Democratic legislator fashioning a solution and a great example of cross party cooperation. The fact that Mitt cannot use the success of this healthcare legislation in his run for the Republican nomination shows how partisan this has become.
It shows that party unity and public policy as a full contact team sport is more important that seeking consensus and common ground (where it can be found if they all look for it) and getting the right things done, which is a shame.
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