Virginia ruling on health reform and Massachusetts

The Boston Business Journal quotes Columbia Law School prof on the Virgina ruling on the constitutional issues re: health reform individual mandate.

Metzger said that the argument in the ruling is that requiring individuals to buy insurance is not in the enumerated powers of Congress, and not that the mandate goes against the individual rights set out in the Constitution.

As a district court ruling, it will have no impact on other states. The case now moves to the 4th circuit Court of Appeals and legal experts expect that it will end up in the U.S. Supreme Court, whether or not the lower court ruling is reaffirmed or overturned. Even if the Supreme Court were to rule the individual mandate unconstitutional, the Massachusetts law would still stand. However, the ruling might prompt health reform opponents to launch lawsuits in Massachusetts.

Scott Brown applauds the ruling in the Herald and frames it as a victory for states rights, thus serparating the Mass mandate from the federal mandate. 

This shows you the federal mandate of one size fits all is not appropriate,” Brown told the Herald. “It should be left up to the states.”

Brown added the court challenge to the federal law does not mean the Bay State’s universal health insurance plan should be panned because it is a state decision.

Blue Mass Group had this to say:

Well OK. And I don’t like mandates very much either. All things being equal … hey, just leave me alone and I’ll decide if I want insurance, all right? Step off, Big G.

Thing is, if you don’t have insurance and get hurt … someone else picks up that tab. Who? Well, maybe you, if you’re stuck with the bill and can actually sort of pay it — which may well land you in the poorhouse. And if you can’t, and you default or go bankrupt? Other ratepayers pay for it, or it gets carved out of the hospitals and doctors income, which they likely make up in charging higher rates to everyone else. There Is No Free Surgery.

 

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