Posts Tagged - ‘healthcare reform lawsuit’

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Healthcare Reform Lawsuit Arguments Continue

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
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Image: steakpinball under CC 3.0

When it comes to healthcare reform, controversy is never far behind. The federal government has continued to argue that the law is constitutional. In a district court, their lawyers claim that the burden of proof should be on the coalition of states suing.

Specifically, the states claim harm from the provision that mandates the purchase of health insurance plans. If a person or business does not comply, they are subject to annual fines of $695. However, the plaintiffs have allegedly failed to demonstrate imminent or actual financial injury, since that aspect of the legislation does not take effect until 2014.

Moreover, the federal government claims that even if the penalty (which would be collected by the IRS) is technically considered a tax, the Anti-Injunction Act prevents states from challenging it, since the individual mandate is considered integral to the structure of the bill.

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Yet Another Affordable Health Insurance Reform Lawsuit

Saturday, August 14th, 2010
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Image: Wikipedia

This time, a conservative group from Arizona is suing the Obama administration over healthcare reform. The Goldwater Institute, which filed the lawsuit, believes that while the issue of increasing access to affordable health insurance is important, the federal law is too heavy-handed.

They are representing a variety of interests, including Republican politicians on both state and local levels, as well as a small business owner. In addition to the belief that they will be forced to purchase a health insurance plan they don’t want (when, in their view, the Constitution delegates health care policy decisions to the states), the plaintiffs also fear that the legislation violates privacy rights.

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Is There Precedent To Uphold Healthcare Reform?

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Image: BAR Photography under CC 3.0

One of the main arguments against the legality of healthcare reform is the contention that it is unconstitutional. Many opponents believe that the individual health insurance mandate, in particular, violates the 10th Amendment. That amendment says that all rights not specifically given to the federal government in the Constitution or its amendments are left to each state.

However, a competing interpretation–accepted by some conservative justices, no less–states that at times, the national government can exercise powers not expressly mentioned in the document. A recent Supreme Court decision (approved by seven out of the nine members) upheld the federal government’s right to indefinitely detain sex offenders after serving their sentences. Surely, the specifics of ankle monitoring or house arrest for child molesters and others were not on the founding fathers’ minds.

Granted, U.S. vs. Comstock is relatively less controversial an issue than affordable health insurance reform. Still, it’s a sign that the highest court is willing to consider the application of the “elastic clause”, which states that the federal government is allowed to pass laws to help it execute the powers it was expressly given.

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Obama Administration Wants VA Healthcare Reform Lawsuit Dismissed

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Image: BAR Photography under CC 3.0

Yesterday, Department of Justice Lawyers requested that a federal judge dismiss the state of Virginia’s lawsuit against healthcare reform.

Shortly before the federal legislation passed, Virginia passed a state law that forbids any entity from mandating that its residents purchase a health insurance plan. Its attorney general then filed a lawsuit on the grounds that the individual mandate that is at the center of the Obama administration’s reform efforts is an unconstitutional overreach on the part of the federal government, therefore violating the 10th Amendment. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said in the government’s motion that the Commerce Clause allowed them the power to regulate this issue, and that striking down the provision would virtually cancel out the law’s attempt to control costs while simultaneously expanding coverage.

The judge is still mulling over both sides’ arguments. Whether or not this particular Virginia health insurance mandate lawsuit continues, there is still the one from 20 other states to deal with.

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Small Business Lobby Supports Healthcare Lawsuit

Friday, May 14th, 2010

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The National Federation of Independent Business is joining the lawsuit against the healthcare reform law mounted by 20 states. NFIB has over 350,000 members nationwide, so their support is significant.

They contend that the provision mandating that people either buy a health insurance plan or pay a fine is unconstitutional. NFIB president Dan Danner is concerned that the federal government will eventually be able to regulate people for existing if the law is upheld.

For their part, the government claims that the collective decisions of people to forgo health coverage affect others due to cost shifting. Therefore, they can regulate its purchase or lack thereof under the commerce clause. However, many small business owners aren’t buying it.

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Justice: We’ll See Healthcare Bill In Court

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Image: angela n. under CC 3.0

During a congressional panel, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer predicted that affordable health insurance reform–specifically the individual mandate provision–will reach the highest judicial decision makers. He didn’t discuss the merits or lack thereof of the lawsuit mounted by a growing number of Republican attorneys general. Breyer is actually one of the more liberal justices, and would most likely vote to uphold the law.

Instead, Breyer said that any major federal legislation should be reviewed by the highest court. Questions about whether the requirement to buy a health insurance plan is unconstitutional are what the Supreme Court was made for. It will probably take awhile for the lawsuit to make its way through the legal system, though.

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Georgia Joins Health Insurance Reform Lawsuit

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Image: caveman_92223 under CC 3.0

The state of Georgia has joined 18 other states in a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s affordable health insurance reform law.

In addition to concerns that the federal government is overstepping its power by enacting a mandate that encourages everyone to either buy a health insurance plan or pay a fine, many states are also worried about the increased spending on Medicaid it asks for from already cash-strapped state governments.

Georgia’s attorney general, a Democrat, was most likely subject to significant pressure from that state’s Republican governor to join the lawsuit.

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