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Indicating that Congress is well within its right to require individuals to secure private health insurance under new federal law, attorneys for the Obama Administration are asking a federal judge to dismiss a suit filed by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
With President Barack Obama completing his signature on health reform law in March, Virginia’s Republican Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The suit names Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, as the defendant and is o
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Regarding the individual mandate to secure private insurance, or face a penalty starting in 2014, the federal attorneys said the provision applies only to individuals and not the state government.
“Because Virginia itself neither has sustained a direct or concrete injury, nor is in immediate danger of such an injury, it does not have standing to sue,” the filing states.
Congress estimated that Americans spent $2.5 trillion on health care in 2009 as 45 million Americans are uninsured, mostly because they cannot afford coverage, the filing states. However, these individual still require medical care – to the tune of $43 billion in 2008 – which is passed on to the health care market.
To aid this problem, Congress enacted many initiatives in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the attorneys claim, including health insurance exchanges, also set for 2014, and the individual mandate.
In concluding its motion to dismiss, lawyers for the Obama Administration say it is outside of the federal court’s purview, but if it did, the individual mandate “falls within Congress’s authority to regulate interstate commerce, as well as power to lay taxes and make expenditures for the general welfare.”
In a statement to the Washington Post, Cuccinelli defended his suit, indicating that a person who chooses not to purchase health insurance is not engaged in commerce.
Forced participation or commandeering
The Supreme Court rarely declares laws unconstitutional for violating the Tenth Amendment. In the modern era, the Court has only done so where the federal government compels the states to enforce federal statutes.
However, Congress cannot directly compel states to enforce federal regulations.
In 1997, the Court again ruled that the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act violated the Tenth Amendment (Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997)). The act required state and local law enforcement officials to conduct background checks on persons attempting to purchase handguns.
The suit names Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, as the defendant
Originally posted by hotpinkurinalmint
reply to post by JacKatMtn
.... but the case law makes it pretty clear that the Health care reform bill fits well within Congress' powers to regulate interstate commerce. ....