I just finished reading the complete 42 page decision of Federal Judge Henry Hudson, striking down a key part of the new health care law which was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama earlier this year. Since two other Federal District Court Judges earlier came to the opposite conclusion, this matter will next go to the Federal Circuit Courts for review, and will inevitably end up in the United States Supreme Court. This could take a number of months if the Supreme Court decided to take this important issue up for expedited review, or as is more likely, several years.
So what was the basis of Judge Henry Hudson, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia’s decision, in the case of Commonwealth of Virginia vs. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services?
Well, the Judge found that the new Health Care Law is unconstitutional, in that Congress “exceeded the constitutional boundaries of congressional power.” Specifically, the Court found that Congress could not require a person to affirmatively purchase something – in this case, health insurance.
The Obama Administration tried to argue that the Commerce Clause, or alternatively the “Necessary and Proper Clause” gives Congress the power to pass such expansive legislation, but the Court said – no way.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to regular readers of this blog, as I had opined in my blog of January 13th earlier this year as follows: “This legislation is arguably unconstitutional on the basis that it would establish a mandate that has never before been imposed on the American people – that they BUY something (health care insurance), or face a penalty. This requirement by the federal government seems to clearly violate the 10th Amendment which says that all powers not specifically granted to the Congress are reserved to the States or to the People.”
Now I’ll make another prediction – when this case is taken up by the Supreme Court, assuming that there are no changes in the makeup of the Court between now and then, the Supreme Court will strike down the health care bill as being unconstitutional, probably by a 5 to 4 vote. Of course it’s impossible to know for sure what the Supreme Court or any other governmental body will do for sure, but that’s my prediction.
Hopefully, at some point Congress will act responsibly, and in a Constitutional manner, to improve the quality and affordability of health care in this country. And Congress should act in accordance with the wishes and desires of the American people, not in opposition to the majority of them. And whatever is done, let’s make sure that we can afford it, not bankrupt the country.