In 2010, Virginia moved to pre-empt the individual mandate from affecting consumers by passing a law protecting its residents form the penalty for not purchasing health insurance. After the Obama health plan was passed, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed suit in defense of his state’s new law. That suit was eventually tossed out of federal court, and on Thursday the mandate itself was declared constitutional based on the power of Congress to levy taxes. Cuccinelli strongly disagrees with the verdict on the mandate and even called Thursday “a dark day for liberty”. But after further review, he sees a number of positives from the majority opinion from Chief Justice John Roberts. Cuccinelli says it is very significant that the court found the mandate unconstitutional on grounds of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause. He calls those rulings the greatest judicial constraint of federal power since the New Deal in the 1930s. Cuccinelli is also very pleased that states will not be forced to be part of the Medicaid expansion that the Obama administration plans to use to fund the expanded health coverage. Overall, Cuccinelli gives Thursday’s ruling a ‘B-‘, saying the limitations on federal power are strong but the mandate ruling brings the overall grade lower.
Obamacare Ruling’s Silver Linings
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