The Obama health care reform faces a new challenge after a ruling by a Virginia court hearing.
It seems there was confusion over whether the 4th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals said they upheld the Obama administration’s right to interfere in health insurance issue at a national and State level. At first people thought the ruling favoured the constitutional position. However, since the initial ruling was given, it now appears the court said it did not uphold the federal government’s right to interfere in health insurance matters.
Writing a statement on behalf of all three judges involved in the case, Judge Diana Motz, said: “The significance of the questions at issue here only heightens the importance of waiting for an appropriate case to reach the merits. This is not such a case.”
This leaves the federal government open to further challenges by those seeking to defeat or seriously damage President Obama’s health care bill, which is due to be implemented in 2014. The ruling basically means that States like Virginia have a constitutional right not to implement the reforms.
The ruling came about because 26 States decided to band together to challenge the federal government’s lawyers’ position that stated consumers’ inevitably participate in the health care market; therefore the federal reforms aim to protect their interests. Judge Motz, seemingly disagreed, but she also appeared to have gone further than that, opening up the federal government to more challenges.
Commenting on the dismissal of the case, Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli said: “In rejecting Virginia’s right to bring the action, the court said that allowing such suits would allow the states to serve as ‘roving constitutional watchdogs.
This was exactly a role that the Founding Fathers planned for the states to have. As James Madison wrote, under the Constitution, ‘the power surrendered by the people is first divided between two distinct governments. Hence a double security arises to the rights of the people. The different governments [states and federal] will control each other.’”
He added: “Health, safety, and welfare issues have long been recognized as being part of the powers reserved to the states by the Constitution.”
The ruling appears to muddy the waters as to what the responsibilities are, or are not as the case maybe for both the federal government and State legislatures.
Ken Cuccinelli vowed to fight on. With a new presidential election just over 12 months away, this issue is not likely to go away.