(Newt Gingrich) – Monday’s ruling by federal judge Henry Hudson that a key provision in the Obama health care law is unconstitutional is an enormous victory for all Americans who care about liberty.
Judge Hudson declared in his 42-page opinion that the law’s requirement for most Americans to obtain health insurance was unconstitutional:
“Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal circuit court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market.”
Hudson also wrote that allowing Congress to exercise such authority “would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers.”
Full repeal is going to be a very long, difficult fight, but Monday’s ruling is a huge victory that should not be overlooked. The individual mandate was the lynchpin upon which the entire health care law stood. A significant portion of the funding was to come through the fines that were to be collected from those who fail to purchase insurance.
Furthermore, the logic behind requiring insurance companies to accept those with pre-existing conditions was predicated upon a requirement that all people are required to be insured, otherwise people will simply sign up for insurance once they get sick.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is the person who brought the case against the federal government over the constitutionality of the law. Writing at CHT’s Health Reform Report on Monday, Ken explained the basis of their case challenging the constitutionality of the law, one which emerged victorious.
The ruling is a huge vindication for Ken, who had the courage to file this suit despite the pressures against him. At American Solutions, we have a letter thanking the Attorney General you can sign by clicking here. I encourage you to sign it, especially if you live in Virginia.
The First Domino to Fall?
The ruling comes amidst a great debate with our country about the proper role and place of government in our lives, the federal government in particular.
The radicalism of the Obama administration, the bailouts of Wall Street, coupled with the previous Republican failures to continue the job of reforming government have sparked an intense discussion amongst the American people about whether our government in Washington has grown out of control.
As Attorney General Cuccinelli wrote in his piece for Health Reform Report mentioned earlier:
The Founding Fathers not only created checks and balances among the branches of government, but also between the states and the federal government. From time to time, it is up to the states to remind the federal government of its constitutional bounds and to push back when it overreaches its authority. What Virginia is doing today with this lawsuit is precisely what the Constitution prescribes.
Furthermore, a repeating pattern of failure from our government agencies at all levels (the most vivid examples being the two Gulf disasters) have Americans asking serious questions about whether the federal government is even capable of handling all its new powers and responsibilities.
Of course, this is not a new debate in America. In fact, Thomas Jefferson’s campaign during the “revolution of 1800” was largely a repudiation of the Federalists’ attempts to exercise powers by the executive government the Jeffersonians believed were outside the scope intended by the drafters of the Constitution.
When I meet with Tea Party groups across the country, I am always pleased to see how many of them host discussion groups about the Constitution and are eager to learn more about our founding fathers. There is an awakening in America about our founding principles and how to apply those truths to today’s challenges.
That is why this ruling may be the harbinger of a trend, not just in the courts but at all levels of government, as the American people rebel against an overbearing government in Washington and seek to return power to the states, local communities and the individual.
Don’t Wait for the Courts
This ruling is surely going to be repealed and almost every analyst agrees that the question of the constitutionality of the health care law will end up as a case in the Supreme Court.
However, that does not mean that those committed to full repeal of the health care bill should sit on their hands and wait for the legal challenges to crawl forward. In fact, now is the perfect time to press forward in the Congress.
This ruling is further proof for the American people that the new law is wrong and unworkable and provides a great opportunity for the new Congress to move to repeal the bill and replace it with market-based, individually centered health reforms that leads to affordable coverage for all Americans.
The Center for Health Transformation is creating a replacement model for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that will include items such as civil justice reform and the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines. To learn more, visit healthtransformation.net.
(Mr. Gingrich is a former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives)