Tag: Individual mandate
No matter how you slice the relevant market - as obtaining health care, as paying for health care, as insuring for health care - all of these activities affect interstate commerce, in a substantial way. Start with obtaining medical care. Few people escape the need to obtain health care at some point in their lives, and most need it regularly...In other words, according to a judge who is both "a Bush appointee who clerked for Antonin Scalia and who is seen as a major states rights advocate," Ken "Koch" Cuccinelli is absolutely, dead wrong in his "reasoning" against the Affordable Care Act and its so-called "individual mandate" (note: I put "individual mandate" in quotes because it's debatable whether there really is a "mandate" in the federal health care law; it's also worth reminding everyone that the individual mandate was a Republican idea, an alternative to the employer mandate).
Congress could reasonably conclude that the decisions and actions of the self-insured substantially affect interstate commerce.
In choosing how to regulate this group, Congress also did not exceed its power...
Does the Commerce Clause contain an action/inaction dichotomy that limits congressional power? No - for several reasons...
In addition to demolishing Cuccinelli's "reasoning" on whether health care constitutes interstate commerce, the court - including its "Bush appointee who clerked for Antonin Scalia and who is seen as a major states rights advocate" - also eviscerated the bogus "activity/inactivity" dichotomy, as well as Cuccinelli's silly "broccoli" argument (sometimes he switches to asparagus instead of broccoli, apparently for variety).
In sum, with health care fundamentally ensconced in the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, and with the individual "mandate" (if it even is a "mandate") judged to be constitutional, there's not a heck of a lot left for Kookinelli to work with. Except, of course, for wasting Virginia taxpayers' money and his office attorneys' time, when he should be focusing on things an Attorney General is supposed to do: protecting the citizens of Virginia from pollution, corporate malfeasance, crime, internet predators, etc.
Now, with this slam-dunk ruling against his frivolous lawsuit, perhaps our esteemed AG will see the light and focus on his real job? Yeah, I know, snowball's chance in h*** on that one!
It is pure semantics to argue that an individual who makes a choice to forgo health insurance is not 'acting,' especially given the serious economic and health-related consequences to every individual of that choice. Making a choice is an affirmative action, whether one decides to do something or not do something. They are two sides of the same coin. To pretend otherwise is to ignore reality.
Now, this really dates me, but Judge Kessler's reasoning here immediately brought to mind the rock group Rush, and specifically its song "Freewill." In that song, as all of us who listened to Rush as kids know, there's a verse that goes as follows:
You can choose a ready guide
In some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide
You still have made a choice
Well, it appears that Ken Cuccinelli has chosen Option A -- listening to "some celestial voice" (or maybe just the weird voices in his head?) -- on health care reform, and also on climate science and other issues for that matter. Apparently, though, Cuccinelli was not impressed with Rush's argument that "if you choose not to decide you STILL have made a choice." That, in a wildly oversimplified nutshell, is the rebuttal to Ken Cuccinelli on his challenge to the health care law and specifically the "individual mandate" (which, as Rep. Bobby Scott explains, isn't even a "mandate"). Time for Ken Cuccinelli to break out the old Rush album (but forgo the weed - lol)?