Today, a federal district judge in Virginia became the first judge in the country to declare one provision of the Affordable Care Act, the individual mandate, unconstitutional.
Judge Henry E. Hudson, who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush, owns a sizable stake of the Republican political consulting firm Campaign Solutions, Inc. Campaign Solutions’ clients from the most recent election cycle include John Boehner, Michelle Bachmann, John McCain, and many other GOP candidates who ran on the promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Ken Cuccinelli, the Virginia attorney general who filed the lawsuit that Hudson ruled in favor of today, is a Campaign Solutions client who in 2010 paid the firm $9,000 for services rendered.
Despite his ruling on the individual mandate, Judge Hudson declined a request by the plaintiff to freeze implementation of the law pending appeal - meaning that the continuing rollout of the new law will not be stopped because of this ruling.
Prior to today's Virginia federal court ruling, 14 other federal district judges rejected lawsuits charging that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. Today’s ruling bears no more authority than the other 14 court rulings by federal judges who all determined that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional or rejected the lawsuits on procedural grounds.
Statement from Jim Duffett, Executive Director, CBHC:
"Just like they did with the Civil Rights Act and the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote, the opponents of fairness will continue to try every means available to overturn federal law that has brought fairness, equally and justice to our great nation.
Just like in these historical cases, if this case even makes it to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court will rule like the other 14 federal judges have ruled. Today's ruling is more political hype than sound legal judgment."
Statement from Illinois Director of Insurance Michael McRaith:
“Americans want health insurers to cover sick people. In Illinois, where health insurers can and do deny any applicant for any reason other than "race, color, religion or national origin," families and businesses in every part of the State recognize that change is needed. The requirement that an individual have insurance requires the healthy to participate in the insured pool before turning sick, thereby making insurance prices more stable and affordable. If people were allowed to buy insurance after being diagnosed with illness, many people would wait. That delayed participation in the risk pool would drive up the cost of insurance, make coverage financially impractical for many, and destroy the private insurance market.
For these reasons, we will move forward with implementation in a professional manner designed to improve coverage options for employers and families and to enhance our private health insurance market. In short, the VA decision has no more impact on Department efforts than did the Michigan court decision supporting the mandate."