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VA Court Finds Provision of ObamaCare Unconstitutional

Chaaron Pearson on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 12:00:00 am

Yesterday, a federal district court in Virginia ruled that the individual mandate, the regulation that requires the purchase of health insurance under penalty of fine, in Obama’s healthcare plan is unconstitutional. 

In his opinion, Judge Hudson points to the Commerce Clause as the root of this case.  He argues that the justice department cannot maintain that the mandate is essentially a tax when the bill imposes a penalty for those that fail to purchase health insurance.  He said that no court has ever extended Commerce Clause powers to require an individual to involuntarily purchase a commodity in the private market.

Both sides of the issue can claim a bit of victory or defeat as Judge Hudson’s ruling has only found the individual mandate portion of the healthcare bill unconstitutional and he didn’t enjoin the law’s implementation pending appeal.

To read more: ObamaCare Loses in Court

In related healthcare news, Vermont’s governor-elect, Peter Shumlin is looking into a single-payer health system for the state.  William Hsiao, a Harvard economist, and Jonathan Gruber, an M.I.T. economist, were charged with researching how a single-payer system would work in Vermont.  Hsiao is credited with designing Taiwan’s single-payer system, while Gruber was one of the minds behind Massachusetts’ health care system and the federal health care reform bill.

One issue that Vermont will be testing is the power of the state government to push all private insurance companies out of its state.

To read more: In Vermont, single-payer health care in a single state

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