Fed Appeals Court Tosses Virginia Health Care Lawsuit Over Individual Mandate

Kaye Beach

Sept. 8, 2011

Anyone feeling less than confident that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of  individual rights over the government’s “right” to force national healthcare reform down our throats will want to be sure to show up at the meetings scheduled for our state to consider how best to protect the rights of Oklahoman citizens from a federal takeover of healthcare.

Fed Appeals Court Tosses Virginia Health Care Lawsuit Over Individual Mandate

Earlier today, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturneda lower-court ruling that found that the federal government cannot force Americans to purchase health care insurance.

Known as the “individual mandate,” this portion of the health care legislation has been highly controversial. This is a major victory for proponents of the legislation, though the battle is far from over. This most recent decision reinforces the notion that the health care battle will inevitably be settled in the Supreme Court. The Hill has more:

Most legal observers expect the [Supreme Court] to hear arguments during the term that begins in October and rule in the summer of 2012.

The 4th Circuit’s long-awaited decision isn’t a huge surprise: People who attended oral arguments in the suits said the judges seemed skeptical of the mandate’s critics, especially Cuccinelli. All three of the judges who heard the case were appointed by Democratic presidents, and two were appointed by Obama.

This is the second time an appellate court has ruled in favor of the government’s right to require that citizens purchase health care or pay a penalty.

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4 responses to “Fed Appeals Court Tosses Virginia Health Care Lawsuit Over Individual Mandate

  1. The Virginia lawsuit was structured poorly from the get-go. While I do not support Obamacare in any way, shape or form, I was actually surprised that the District Court ruled in Virginia’s favor.

    In this case, the Commonwealth of Virginia attempted to manufacture its standing. That is what the Fourth Circuit ruled on – that the individual mandate, which was the subject of the lawsuit, imposes no burdens on the State. Without a burden being imposed by the individual mandate (because that’s all they chose to pursue), the State has zero standing to sue. If the State had chosen to sue using the argument that the health insurance exchanges/marketplaces/buzzwords imposed an undue burden on the State, then they would have likely had standing.

    Virginia tried to argue that the collision between the Individual Mandate and the declaratory statute stating that citizens would not be required to purchase insurance caused injury to the State, but without an enforcement clause there can be no collision between the differing federal and state laws.

    Virginia failed to show from the beginning that they met the three legal requirements to show standing, and sadly they failed on all three.

  2. Conservative only consider that laws are Constitutional, if they agree with their fantasies on how the Constitution should be interpreted. That’s insanity.

  3. People on both sides of the aisle have their own interpretations. I just want to be left alone.

  4. Hopefully other cases will do better.

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