White House Calls Ruling Striking Down Health Care Law ‘An Outlier’ – Political Punch

January 31, 2011

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller reports: Senior White House officials called today’s ruling striking down the health care law “an outlier” and are confident that it will be overturned on appeal.

A federal judge in Florida struck down the Obama administration’s health care law ruling that because a central provision of the law is unconstitutional the rest of the law cannot stand without it. Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida ruled that the individual mandate — which requires individuals to purchase health care by 2014 or pay a penalty — “exceeds Congress’ commerce power.”

The ruling marks the first time a federal judge has struck down the entire law. “I must conclude that the individual mandate and the remaining provisions are all inextricably bound together in purpose and must stand or fall as a single unit,” the judge ruled.

More at White House Calls Ruling Striking Down Health Care Law ‘An Outlier’ – Political Punch.


Judge uses Obama’s words against him – Washington Times

January 31, 2011

In ruling against President Obama‘s health care law, federal Judge Roger Vinson used Mr. Obama‘s own position from the 2008 campaign against him, when the then-Illinois senator argued there were other ways to achieve reform short of requiring every American to purchase insurance.

“I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that, ‘If a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house,’” Judge Vinson wrote in a footnote toward the end of his 78-page ruling Monday.

More at Judge uses Obama’s words against him – Washington Times.


Federal Judge Declares PPACA Unconstitutional « The Alan Katz Health Care Reform Blog

January 31, 2011

All of this was expected. What was a bit of suprise is that Judge Vinson went further stating: “Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire act must be declared void.” Compare this to the December decision by U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson who ruled in a suit brought by the state of Virginia that the individual mandate was unconstitutional. Judge Hudson, however, determined that those provisions of the health care reform law that did not depend on the individual mandate “are legal and can proceed.”

Reuters describes Judge Vinson as struggling with the decision to invalidate the entire law as he recognized the decision “will have indeterminable implications” – which is legalese for “this shakes things up a bit, doesn’t it?” In the end, however, as reported by the New York Times, he determined that the individual mandate “exceeds the regulatory powers granted to Congress under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Judge Vinson wrote that the provision could not be rescued by an associated clause in Article I that gives Congress broad authority to make laws ‘necessary and proper’ to carrying out its designated responsibilities.”

More at Federal Judge Declares PPACA Unconstitutional « The Alan Katz Health Care Reform Blog.


Vinson opinion on constitutionality of health reform act

January 31, 2011

It would be a radical departure from existing case law to hold that Congress can regulate inactivity under the Commerce Clause. If it has the power to compel an otherwise passive individual into a commercial transaction with a third party merely by asserting — as was done in the Act — that compelling the actual transaction is itself “commercial and economic in nature, and substantially affects interstate commerce” [see Act § 1501(a)(1)], it is not hyperbolizing to suggest that Congress could do almost anything it wanted. It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place.

See full text of Vinson opinion.


BREAKING: Florida judge strikes down parts of health care reform – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs

January 31, 2011

A federal judge in Florida has ruled unconstitutional the sweeping health care reform law championed by President Obama, setting up what is likely to be a contentious Supreme Court challenge in coming months over the legislation.

Monday’s ruling came in the most closely watched of the two dozen challenges to the law. Florida along with 25 states had filed a lawsuit last spring, seeking to dismiss a law critics had labeled “Obamacare.”

Judge Roger Vinson, in a 78-page, ruling dismissed the key provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – the so-called “individual mandate” requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or face stiff penalties.

More at BREAKING: Florida judge strikes down parts of health care reform – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs.


All Senate Republicans appear ready to repeal health care law – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs

January 31, 2011

Every Republican in the Senate now appears ready to revoke President Obama’s signature health care law. This comes as a federal judge, in Florida, strikes down key parts of the law as unconstitutional.

The GOP holds 47 seats in the Senate.

According to Sen. Jim DeMint’s office, 45 of them will co-sponsor the South Carolina Republican’s legislation – introduced last week – to fully repeal the health law. Republicans are “standing with the American people who are demanding we repeal this government takeover of health care,” DeMint said at the time.

More at All Senate Republicans appear ready to repeal health care law – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs.


Improving the Lives of Young Children: Increasing Referrals and Follow-Up Treatment in Medicaid and CHIP

January 31, 2011

Many young children have developmental or behavioral problems that could be addressed with appropriate services but are not identified or treated before entering kindergarten, compromising a child’s ability to perform up to full potential in school and leading to costly special education and health care interventions later. The patchwork of public programs that finances services creates barriers in access to follow-up services for children identified by diagnostic assessments as having developmental delays or behavioral problems that would benefit from intervention. This brief discusses referrals to services to address developmental delays and behavioral and physical health problems.

More at Improving the Lives of Young Children: Increasing Referrals and Follow-Up Treatment in Medicaid and CHIP.


How Congress Can Limit the Damage Caused by Obamacare | The Heritage Foundation

January 31, 2011

Obamacare—the popular name for the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)—is highly disliked by American voters who want to see it repealed. A majority of states are suing to overturn it, and the House of Representatives has voted to repeal it. Though repeal is being blocked by the Senate and the Obama Administration, there are ways that lawmakers can reduce the damage that Obamacare is inflicting on the American economy and everyday freedoms. Former Representative from Oklahoma Ernest Istook explains the tools—from routine defunding to cutting off backdoor funding for PPACA—that policymakers could employ now.

More at How Congress Can Limit the Damage Caused by Obamacare | The Heritage Foundation.


Supreme Court and prescriptions: Data mining is not free speech – latimes.com

January 31, 2011

IMS Health Inc. operates in the shadows of the healthcare industry, gathering data that drug makers can use to sell medications more effectively. The data, however, are taken from the prescriptions that doctors write for their patients. That information is at the heart of a dispute over how far states can go to protect privacy — a dispute that has reached the Supreme Court, and one that could broaden the reach of the 1st Amendment in troubling ways.

More at Supreme Court and prescriptions: Data mining is not free speech – latimes.com.


Medicaid panel off to rocky start – POLITICO.com Print View

January 31, 2011

Trying to squeeze better data out of the morass of Medicaid information crunched by 50 different states has taken a toll on a new advisory panel.

Tasked with issuing recommendations to Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services and the states and on a deadline to vote on them next month, the Medicaid and Chip Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) hit the reset button Friday when faced with the complexity and cost of the effort.

After a series of draft recommendations were issued, panel members said they were “nervous” and “concerned” about the direction the panel was moving and there were also questions about the costs, given the “brutal” budget situations that states face. One panel member called for a “do over” and others suggested the panel was poised to hit Congress “in the face” with a big new request for funds. A new survey to Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program beneficiaries, for instance, is estimated to cost $45 million.

More at Medicaid panel off to rocky start – POLITICO.com Print View.


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