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Judge voids part of Obamacare
Ruling says law stretches bounds of Constitution
“The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service called requiring people to buy a good or service or be penalized a ‘novel issue,’ and now a federal court has ruled it unconstitutional,” Mr. Grassley said.
But Neera Tanden, chief operating officer at the Center for American Progress, a liberal-leaning organization that was influential in providing talking points and strategy for Mr. Obama during his election campaign and during the health care debate, said the judge’s ruling “ignored precedent, the consensus of his colleagues and the Constitution itself to strike down an essential component of the Affordable Care Act.”
“The Affordable Care Act is nothing short of a lifeline for millions of Americans to receive the health care they need and deserve now and in the future as the law takes effect,” Ms. Tanden said. “Make no mistake, Judge Henry Hudson’s poorly reasoned decision is living on borrowed time. We at the Center for American Progress are confident that it will not hold up to further scrutiny.”
The Huffington Post reported in July that the judge’s annual financial disclosures showed that he owned part of Campaign Solutions Inc., a Republican consulting firm that worked for GOP candidates, many of whom opposed the Obama health care law.
Mr. Cuccinelli paid Campaign Solutions $9,000 for services rendered in 2010.
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, noted that Judge Hudson declared one provision of the law as unconstitutional and did not issue an injunction requiring the federal government to suspend implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
“Other decisions handed down by courts across the country have upheld Congress‘ authority to enact this legislation; Judge Hudson’s decision is the first to depart from those rulings,” Mr. Leahy said. “I expect that today’s opinion, as well as other rulings around the country related to the Affordable Care Act, will be appealed, and the circuit courts will hear further arguments in the coming months.”
Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said Democrats “ignored the Constitution in order to pass a law that would put Washington in control of your personal health care, while curtailing access to quality, affordable health care.”
“If this individual mandate and its unprecedented power to force citizens to purchase health coverage against their will were found to be constitutional, Congress would have essentially unlimited power to do anything,” Mr. Price said. “The fight for patient-centered health care will continue. We should focus on the principles of access, affordability, quality, responsiveness, innovation and patients’ choices without putting the federal government in charge.”
• Kara Rowland, Ben Conery and Seth McLaughlin contributed to this report.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Jerry Seper is the investigative editor for The Washington Times.
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