Dec 14, 2010

Activist conservative judge incorrect on health care insurance reform

Republicans like U.S. Rep Mike Rogers, R-Brighton?, are practically giddy today that 50 million Americans may not have access to health care insurance after U.S. District activist Judge Henry Hudson struck down the "individual mandate" of the historic health care insurance reform bill requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014.

People like Rogers are latching on to this ruling by the 2002 George W. Bush appointee while ignoring the two previous rulings in favor of the health care insurance reform. The U.S. Supreme Court will have the final say, and the ruling from an activist judge with ethical questions will carry no weight.

Hudson ruled on a law that a GOP political consulting firm that he has an ownership stake in worked against health care insurance reform. However, the larger issue is that legal experts know Hudson is wrong, and his ruling simply raises ethical questions. It may or may not have had an effect, but the fact remains that Federal judges are required by statute to disqualify themselves from hearing a case whenever their impartiality might reasonably be questioned.

Multiple provisions of the Constitution permit Congress to enact this reform legislation. As long ago as 1944, the Supreme Court held that the business of insurance fell within Congress’ regulatory authority under the Commerce Clause, as well as Congress’ authority to tax and spend for the general welfare. Nothing since undercuts the authority of Congress to legislate in this area. No provision of the Bill of Rights, or text found elsewhere in the Constitution, acts to prohibit Congress from enacting the healthcare reform legislation.

Legal experts are attacking Hudson's decision on the merits, citing an elementary logical flaw at the heart of his opinion, according to an article in Talking Points Memo. And that has conservative scholars -- even ones sympathetic to the idea that the mandate is unconstitutional -- prepared to see Hudson's decision thrown out.

Orin Kerr, a professor of law at George Washington University, said the Necessary and Proper Clause of the U.S. Constitution allows Congress to take steps beyond those listed in the Constitution to achieve its Constitutional ends, including the regulation of interstate commerce. Kerr says Hudson's argument wipes a key part of the Constitution out of existence.


Not Anonymous said...

Once again, you're wrong, and one-sided.

Representative Mike Rogers and the rest of the Republicans are not even near giddy that 50 million Americans are without health care. This is just another lie on your part. Of course, you'll claim you never lie, but until you display the nailholes in your hands, that will fall on deaf ears and the facts stand out for themselves.

There is a better way to get Americans (and only Americans) health care without forcing them with excessive taxes and penalties and removing people's liberties. Just because the Republicans (and 52% of the American people) don't want Obamacare, doesn't mean that the only other option is that people go without health insurance.

There aren't 50 million Americans uninsured. Even the Socialist Democrats in Congress, which are about to be fewer, admit there are 33 million Americans without health care coverage, of which one seems to be your wife.

It is interesting that when a judge rules against your position, you claim he's an activist Republican judge appointed by a Republican. But you fail to mention that the two judges that ruled in favor of Obamacare earlier were appointees of Clinton.

If you're right, that this is based on politics and not on the merits of the law, then this law has no place being enacted. But the good news is that you're likely to lose when it reaches the Supreme Court on a five to four decision. Unless, of course, you're wishing for a Justice to die so that Obama can get another appointment.

Again, if the Supreme Court rules along idealogical lines, the ruling is not about the law but rather it's about who proposed and passed it. Which by the way, was proposed, voted on and passed by only Socialist Democrats. Not one Republican. In fact, the only bipartisanship on Obamacare was to the Republican side where Democrats joined Republicans. In other words, with the majority of the country against this law, the bipartisanship (which seems to be important to you except when it doesn't work for you), was all on the Republican side.

Oh, the two Clinton appointees that ruled previously, were Judge Steeh in Michigan and Judge Moons in Virginia.

Communications guru said...

Sorry, anonymous coward, but I’m correct, and if I was “one-sided” I wouldn’t let a loser like you spout false talking points.

I beg to differ on your representation of Representative Mike Rogers and the rest of the Republicans state of mind. The headline in the P & A story is correct in that they kicked 30-50 million people to the curb. That is correct, anonymous coward, I don’t lie, and I’m still waiting for you to show me where I have.

I agree with you; “There is a better way to get Americans (and only Americans) health care," it’s called universal, single payer.

I agree, “There aren't 50 million Americans uninsured,” there are more than 50 million Americans uninsured.

Again, anonymous coward, there is no such thing as a Socialist Democrat in the United States and that is just a false, Republican smear. Ah, the personal attacks. My wife has coverage, but thank you for your concern, you cowardly wimp. You would think you would be outraged that someone who served 20 years in the military had no health care coverage, but the support the troops shit right-wingers like you spout is nothing but a slogan.

I’m just doing what the right does when a judge rules against them, but in this case, as well as in the Citizens United case, when they ignore case law and the law in general, like this judge did, he's an activist judge.

I never said the law was based on politics and not on the merits of the law, because the fact is it is based on established case law.

Again, anonymous wimp, there is no such thing as a Socialist Democrat in the United States and that is just a false, Republican smear. Republicans have voted no on everything for the last two years, so what? We know there only goal is to bring down the President and grab power, no matter how much it hurts the country.

Once again, anonymous pussy, I am still waiting for you to back up your outrageous lie that we were “nearly shoulder to shoulder once.”

K. said...

Pence said that the ruling struck down a “European-style, bloated, government-run health-care system."

If not giddy, it's certainly overwrought and definitely inaccurate: There's nothing government-run or European-style about the ACA (would that it were). It's also profoundly ignorant: Seven European countries have government-run health care systems; none of the others do, including France and Germany.

Incidentally, one part of our health care apparatus (I wouldn't call it a system) is socialistic: VA health care is government-owned and -operated.

Otherwise, AC, are you sane? Socialist Democrats? There isn't a one. Clearly, you have no idea of what socialism is.

BTW, what's with the demonization of Europe? I've been there and rather like it.

Communications guru said...

Good observation. I wish we had a “European-style, government-run health-care system." I wonder what you would call Medicaid and Medicare? The fact is there is no more efficient health care insurance program than Medicare, and more of each dollar goes into actual health care than any private program.

I don’t believe anonymous coward is sane.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Why exactly do Republican Congresspersons get Government Healthcare?

And the best (and at the same time the worst) example of the benefits of a Government run Public Option is Dick Cheney. Without Government healthcare he "earned" from "working" 40+ years in the Federal Government he would have been denied coverage after his first heart attack at 37 and be dead now.

Communications guru said...

Great point. Thank you.

K. said...

For the next couple of weeks, I can beat most people over the head re health policy. It's not because I'm anything special -- I just completed a course in grad school.

A very good, readable, and brief book comparing American health care with systems from around the world is TR Reid's The Healing of America. He takes his bum shoulder to various doctors to learn how is would be treated by docs in different countries. One illustrative point: One one doc recommended an expensive shoulder replacement. Guess where he lives?

Communications guru said...

It sounds like a great book; I would love to read it. You should read a book called, “Sick: The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis---and the People Who Pay the Price” by Jonathan Cohn. He covers the history of health insurance in this country, and really puts a human face on it. I also saw him speak a few years ago, and he was excellent.

K. said...

I've read Sick -- it's very good.

An excellent historical overview of the politics of health care reform is The Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office (Blumenthal and Morone). It traces the various failures and successes by both parties going back to the New Deal. Apologies for the flog; I reviewed it starting here: