The Commonwealth of Virginia is obvious the next target for the Chicago Mob in the White House.
But will they go there? That is the question.
The Commonwealth has enacted an Illegal Immigration strategy that is very similar to Arizona, but with some key differences.
But they have also won Round 1 in the “Up Yours!” Obamacare fight. And they are just the first out of the gate.
The state of Virginia can continue its lawsuit to stop the nation’s new health care law from taking effect, a federal judge ruled Monday.
U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson said he is allowing the suit against the U.S. government to proceed, saying no court has ever ruled on whether it’s constitutional to require Americans to purchase a product.
“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,” Hudson wrote in a 32-page decision.
“The congressional enactment under review — the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision — literally forges new ground and extends (the U.S. Constitution’s) Commerce Clause powers beyond its current high watermark,” Hudson said.
“Given the presence of some authority arguably supporting the theory underlying each side’s position, this court cannot conclude at this stage that the complaint fails to state a cause of action,” he wrote.
The decision is a small step, but in no way a minor matter to opponents of the health care bill rejected by all congressional Republicans but signed into law by President Obama earlier this year.
“This lawsuit is not about health care, it’s about our freedom and about standing up and calling on the federal government to follow the ultimate law of the land — the Constitution,” said Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who brought the suit. “The government cannot draft an unwilling citizen into commerce just so it can regulate him under the Commerce Clause.”
“Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has brought forward a specific and narrowly tailored objection to the Act. It warrants a full and thorough hearing in our courts. It is meritorious and constitutionally correct. … I look forward to the full hearing this fall,” said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.
Cuccinelli filed the suit almost immediately after the law was signed, arguing that it conflicts with Virginia’s legislation — also passed this year — exempting state residents from the requirement that all Americans be forced into health care coverage. Cuccinelli argued that the law violates the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.
The Commerce Clause allows the U.S. government to regulate economic activity. But Virginia argued that it’s not economic activity when someone chooses to refrain from participating in commerce.
The U.S. government, which was defending itself through the Health and Human Services Department run by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius argued that everyone will need medical services at some point in their life and therefore is either a “current or future participation in the health care market,” and therefore subject to taxation.
“We do not leave people to die at the emergency room door — whether they have insurance or not. Those costs — an estimated $43 billion annually — are absorbed by everyone else paying into the health care market including doctors, hospitals and insured patients. Congress has the authority under the Commerce Clause to address that cost-shifting burdening the interstate market for health care,” argues the brief filed by the Justice Department on behalf of HHS.
“Today’s ruling is merely a procedural decision by the court to allow this case to move forward. We believe there is clear and well-established legal precedent that Congress acted within its constitutional authority in passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. We are confident that the health care reform statute is constitutional and that we will ultimately prevail,” the department said in a statement.
Supporters of the law say the decision Monday is merely procedural, but the law will be proven constitutional when it gets to a hearing on the content.
“This case is really a politically motivated ploy aimed at diverting attention from the many benefits of the new law,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, which lobbied in favor of the bill. “The decision today should not distract states and the federal government from focusing on implementing the new law in the most effective way possible. The benefits of the new law are just becoming apparent, and substantially more help is on the way.”
More than a dozen state attorneys general have filed a lawsuit in Florida challenging the federal law, but Virginia’s is the first to reach a courtroom. (FOX)
Missouri voters are expected to pass a measure on Tuesday to forbid the federal government from penalizing individuals for refusing to buy health insurance. But it could be symbolic because federal law typically supersedes state laws.
The federal penalty provision does not take effect until 2014 and the Obama administration has pointed to tax credits, subsidies and other mechanisms to help those who cannot afford to buy insurance. Some 46 million people in the United States lack healthcare coverage.
The Obama administration has countered that the government always has the ability to levy taxes and that the Constitution places the federal government’s powers over the states.
Shut up and sit down, we have supreme executive power and can do anything we want! 🙂
Never before has Congress sought to use its powers under the Commerce Clause to force a private citizen to buy a good or service from another private person or entity. If Congress can do that in the name of ensuring that everyone has health insurance, what is to stop it from ordering citizens to buy a particular brand of car to ensure that everyone has a car to drive? The possibilities, and hence the power claimed, are virtually limitless.– Virgina AG Cucchinelli
Naturally, the Ministry of Truth and the Liberals are playing it down as no big deal. Just a “procedural” victory they all say in unison. It’s no big deal.
But the “procedural” partial victory they got in the Arizona case was a full-on party-hardy yippee! victory against the evil racists!
The media’s bias and ideology shines through again!
Meanwhile, It’s Mayberry to the Rescue!
The latest ObamaCare ad, curiously out at the same time as this decision, 🙂 has Andy Griffith touting the greatness of Medicare and now ObamaCare and how it’s going to take care of Seniors.
I saw they ad, it thought it was very self-centered, arrogant, and greedy. Which means it’s perfect for Obama.
Would the sheriff of Mayberry mislead you about Medicare? Alas, yes.
In a new TV spot from the Obama administration, actor Andy Griffith, famous for his 1960s portrayal of the top law enforcement official in the fictional town of Mayberry, N.C., touts benefits of the new health care law. Griffith tells his fellow senior citizens, “like always, we’ll have our guaranteed [Medicare] benefits.” But the truth is that the new law is guaranteed to result in benefit cuts for one class of Medicare beneficiaries — those in private Medicare Advantage plans.
The White House released the ad on the 45th anniversary of the Medicare program, and said it would run nationally on cable TV networks. Griffith, whose “Andy Griffith Show” was a TV comedy hit at the time Medicare was first enacted in 1965, explains the “good things” that the new health care law will mean for Medicare beneficiaries.
“This year, like always, we’ll have our guaranteed benefits,” he says. An announcement of the ad on the White House website reinforces that claim, saying: “Under the Affordable Care Act … Seniors guaranteed Medicare benefits will remain the same.” But the truth is, for millions of seniors, benefits won’t remain the same.
As we wrote most recently last December, about 10 million Medicare Advantage recipients could see their extra benefits reduced by an average of $43 per month, according to the Congressional Budget Office. And more recently, a detailed analysis by the Medicare program’s own chief actuary, Richard Foster, stated in April:
Medicare Actuary Richard Foster: The new provisions will generally reduce MA rebates to plans and thereby result in less generous benefit packages. We estimate that in 2017, when the MA provisions will be fully phased in, enrollment in MA plans will be lower by about 50 percent (from its projected level of 14.8 million under the prior law to 7.4 million under the new law).
Even the head of the White House Office of Health Reform, Nancy-Ann DeParle, acknowledges that Medicare Advantage benefits are going to be reduced. “I’m sure that some of those additional benefits have been nice,” the Wall Street Journal quoted her as saying in a July 25 report. “But I think what we have to look at here is what’s fair and what’s important for the strength of the Medicare program long term.”
A Weasel Word
So how can the Obama administration claim that “guaranteed Medicare benefits will remain the same”? The answer is that the term “guaranteed” is a weasel word — a qualifier that sucks the meaning out of a phrase in the way that weasels supposedly suck the contents out of an egg. It may sound to the casual listener as though this ad is saying that the benefits of all Medicare recipients are guaranteed to stay the same — and that may well be the way the ad’s sponsors wish listeners to hear it. But what the administration is really saying is that only those benefits that are guaranteed in law will remain the same.
There’s even a section in the new law (section 3601) that says: “Nothing in the provisions of, or amendments made by, this Act shall result in a reduction of guaranteed benefits under title XVIII of the Social Security Act” (the title that establishes the Medicare program). Section 3602 says even Medicare Advantage recipients won’t suffer any reduction of “any benefits guaranteed by law.”
But here’s the catch: The extra benefits generally offered by Medicare Advantage plans aren’t guaranteed by law. They are offered by private insurance companies as inducements. The companies have been able to offer somewhat more generous packages than traditional, fee-for-service Medicare because the system pays them as much as 40 percent more per patient than it pays for traditional Medicare, according to the chief actuary. The average in 2009 was about 14 percent more, according to the most recent analysis by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, issued in February. But the new law generally eliminates the extra payments in the coming years. Foster, the chief actuary, estimates that federal spending for Medicare Advantage will be reduced by $145 billion over the law’s first decade.
Currently, about 1 in every 4 Medicare beneficiary is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. For many of them, the words in this ad ring hollow, and the promise that “benefits will remain the same” is just as fictional as the town of Mayberry was when Griffith played the local sheriff.
But Barney Fife wrote the Law and now expects you believe them when they say, it’s for your own good. 🙂
The The American Spectator and American’s For Tax Reform:
The Spectator blog reports on a conference call held this morning by HHS Secretary Sebelius to promote a new report regarding the health law’s impact on Medicare. Questioned about claims by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ chief actuary that the Medicare reductions in the law “cannot be simultaneously used to finance other federal outlays and to extend the [Medicare] trust fund” solvency, Secretary Sebelius replied that
There are two different operating methods of looking at this, and the CMS actuary in the report that you cite differs in his strategic opinion from every accounting methodology that’s used for every other program in the federal budget, that has traditionally used for Medicare. And he has a different interpretation that is not agreed upon by either the Congressional Budget Office or the OMB or traditionally in Congress.
Unfortunately for the Secretary, however, the Congressional Budget Office has on numerous occasions confirmed that any claims the law will improve Medicare’s solvency revolve around notional double-counting under federal budgetary conventions. A January CBO letter found that “the majority of the [Medicare] trust fund savings…would be used to pay for other spending and therefore would not enhance the ability of the government to pay for future Medicare benefits.” And in a March letter, CBO quantified the amount of that double-counting, estimating that, if the law’s Medicare savings were actually set aside to improve the solvency of the Medicare trust fund (as opposed to being used for other spending), the bill would increase the deficit by $260 billion over its first ten years alone.
In other words, the CBO agrees with the CMS actuary that the same money the same money can’t be used twice – once to expand coverage, and a second time to extend the life of the Medicare trust fund. The Secretary’s statement that “there are two different operating methods of looking at this,” and that CBO disagrees with the Administration’s own actuaries on the impact of this budgetary double-counting, is demonstrably FALSE.
But don’t worry, the Ministry of Truth is right on top of it. 🙂
President Obama described officials who “demagogue” immigration or take sudden “anti-immigrant” stances as people who want to make a name for themselves and not help solve what he called “a national problem.” (CBS)
But his demagoguery is not worth mentioning. 🙂
“I understand the frustration of people in Arizona,” Mr. Obama said. “But what we can’t do is demagogue the issue, and what we can’t do is allow a patchwork of 50 different states, or cities or localities, where anybody who wants to make a name for themselves suddenly says, ‘I’m going to be anti-immigrant, and I’m going try to see if I can solve the problem ourself.’ This is a national problem.”– on CBS “Early Show”
But I end on a Vote of No Confidence on ICE Director John Morton, from his own people.
But don’t it’s all for your own good. We are the Washington Elites, we are just better than you unwashed peasant masses.
And now the New York City government elites says it’s ok for there to be a 13-story Islamic Mosque 600 yards from Ground Zero built by a guy who believes in Shiria Law in America.
Doesn’t that just make you feel safer about the government. 🙂