A federal judge in Florida has allowed a lawsuit against health care reform filed by 20 Attorneys General to move forward, according to the Washington Post. Judge Roger Vinson has said that many of the states’ claims cannot be brought forth in court. However, Vinson did rule that the requirement for individuals to have health care insurance can be ruled as beyond the scope of Congress. This runs contrary to a ruling in Michigan that says Congress does indeed have the authority to mandate such a law. Vinson also ruled that a tax on those who don’t have health insurance amounts to a penalty, as opposed to a tax liability.
Health Care Timeline
The health care overhaul was signed into law in March of 2010, and there have been many challenges and controversies. Almost immediately, several attorneys general, now numbering 20, filed a lawsuit to block the law on behalf of two other plaintiffs in the case. Since Florida was the first one to file, the case would be heard in Florida.
Not everyone was happy with the lawsuits. Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell told Fox News that he thought the lawsuits were a waste of taxpayer money because Congress has the right to regulate intrastate commerce regarding health care costs. Rendell even said that Ronald Reagan’s solicitor general said the lawsuit is “preposterous.”
A month after passage of the law, Republicans such as House Minority Leader John Boehner have vowed a repeal of the health care reform law. Boehner also reiterated that Republicans have a more common-sense solution, like they tried to propose when the legislation first came up in Congress.
He also believes that because of this law, Republicans will sweep midterm elections, much like they did in 1994, according to NPR. There are “at least 100 seats” that could change hands to the Republican side, Boehner said.
Now that the general election is almost here, the health care debate is heating up again. On Wednesday, Democratic candidate for the House Scott Murphy attacked his opponent for attempting to repeal the health care law, as stated in a report by CNN. Murphy claims in a television ad that “Chris Gibson, he’s for the insurance industry not you” when it comes to trying to save Americans money on their health care. Most Democrats have shied away from the health care debate.
What Will Happen in Court
Eventually, these cases will have to be settled by the Supreme Court. There are too many lawsuits and too many possibilities of different rulings to set any precedent for further legal action. There hasn’t been such a sweeping change to the health care system since Medicare was enacted, and it may take a while for the lawsuits to work themselves out.
In the meantime, some aspects of the bill will be enacted, such as young adults being given the opportunity to be on their parents’ health insurance until age 26. It may be a long road ahead for the rest of the health care reform bill.
Aizenman, N.C., “Federal judge lets 20 states’ health-care lawsuit move forward”, Washington Post.
Interview Archive, “Penn. Gov. Rendell: Health Care Reform Lawsuit a Waste of Taxpayers’ Money”, Fox News.
NPR, “Boehner: GOP Will Repeal Health Care Law”, NPR.org.
Bash, Dana, “Democrat becomes first to attack opponent on health care repeal”, CNN.com.