Monday, December 13, 2010

1501 is done

Judge Henry Hudson
(by R.P.Edwards)

My, oh my
Oh, can it be
A federal judge
Agrees…with me?
To put a stop
To federal lust
To stay the beast
That kills…our trust?
But wait…he’s one
We must have more
For those who wolf
Will battle…sure
But today, at least
We pause, to praise
And hope to win
In coming…days

The mighty Achilles; fallen by a well placed arrow…to the heel.  Today a federal Judge by the name of Henry Hudson may have struck the death blow to the Monstrosity known as the Healthcare Bill.  Or, if not a death blow, at least a slowing wound to greatly hinder…the unwieldy and threatening giant.

No, I didn’t read the whole ruling.  But I did go to it directly to glean some morsels.

From Pg 1.
In the case, the Commonwealth of Virginia (the “Commonwealth”) through its Attorney General, challenges the constitutionality of the pivotal enforcement mechanism of the health care scheme adopted by Congress in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA” or “the Act”),… At issue is section 1501 of the Act, commonly known as the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision (“the Provision”). The Minimum Essential Coverage Provision requires that every United States citizen, other than those falling within specified exceptions, maintain a minimum level of health insurance coverage for each month beginning in 2014.  Failure to comply will result in a penalty included with the taxpayer’s annual return.  As enacted, Section 1501, is administered and enforced as a part of the Internal Revenue Code.

From Pg 38, 39
On careful review, this Court must conclude that Section 1501of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act--specifically the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision--exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power…the Court’s next task is to determine whether this section is severable from the balance of the enactment.  Predictably, the Secretary counsels severability, and the Commonwealth urges wholesale invalidation. The Commonwealth’s position flows in part from the Secretary’s frequent contention that section 1501 is the linchpin for the entire health care regimen underlying the ACA. However, the bill embraces far more than healthcare reform. It is laden with provisions and riders patently extraneous to health care--over 400…  The final element of the analysis is difficult to apply in this case given the haste with which the final version of the 2,700 page bill was rushed to the floor for a Christmas Eve vote.

Some thoughts:  I like the use of the word “scheme” in the first paragraph.  I suppose it’s an innocuous oft used add-on, but to us non-legal folks, it carries a special meaning.  Next, after gently declaring that this compulsory--pick your pocket--provision is…unconstitutional, the good judge alludes to the fact that there is SO MUCH MORE in the bill than just health care (400 plus additional items), and, as an added delight, the mention of the rush to judgment; as in a Christmas Eve vote on a 2,700 pg bill that could not have been read and digested by the "votees".  Well done, Judge Hudson.  Even if you are eventually “overruled,” (because, c’mon, the scales of justice are too often tipped), at least, on this day, you have…our thanks.

(by R.P.Edwards)

Fifteen O one
Fifteen O one
Because of thee
The death knell…rung
A peal of hope
The monster’s scream
A chorus rises
The people’s…dream
And when the giant
Fills the earth
Perhaps a better
Comes to birth
But now
The course, begun
It starts with thee
Fifteen…O one

Here’s a link to the ruling.   The Ruling


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