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Cuccinelli says Constitution, states' sovereignty preserved

By Sally Voth - svoth@nvdaily.com

After initially lambasting the U.S. Supreme Court's Thursday ruling on health care, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli took heart in the high court's decision to limit congressional powers.

In an early reaction to the ruling, Cuccinelli had issued a statement calling it a "dark day" for America, but had backed off that a couple hours later.

Cuccinelli hosted a live in-person and telephone press conference shortly after noon, and said upon further analysis of the 193- page ruling he'd realized that key principles were preserved.

"Individual liberty was the priority, and protecting the Constitution was the priority here, and that was preserved today by and large," he said.

That was "contrary to our first original reaction," he said.

"This is a dark day for the American people, the Constitution, and the rule of law," the attorney general stated in his morning release. "This is a dark day for American liberty.

"This unprecedented decision says that Congress has the authority to force citizens to buy private goods or face fines - a power it has never had in American history, and a power King George III and Parliament didn't have over us when we were mere subjects of Great Britain. Since the federal government itself could never articulate to the court a constitutional limit to this power, Congress has gained an unlimited power to force citizens to buy anything."

Cuccinelli said in his press conference that the majority of the federal health care bill still stands, but the section requiring states to forfeit all of their Medicaid funding if they didn't agree to expand Medicaid was declared unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court this morning voted 5-4 to mostly uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, with Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. siding with liberal justices.

The chief justice wrote that the the fine assessed against persons who don't get health insurance is a tax, not a penalty, and Congress has the authority to "lay and collect taxes."

"If [the tax] had been enough to actually buy health insurance, he would've called it a penalty," Cuccinelli said.

Not having to expand Medicaid coverage helps Virginia "avoid a huge cost" -- about $200 million a year -- Cuccinelli said.

"The biggest cost [to] our state government in this whole thing, under this ruling, that we did well on," he added. "Absolutely, I'm happy about that."

Cuccinelli issued another statement late Thursday afternoon expressing disappointment with the Supreme Court decision, but finding a "silver lining."

"Virginia's legal argument has always been that there was no constitutional basis for the federal health insurance mandate, and that the health care law should be struck down in its entirety," he said in the afternoon statement. "The court's decision has saddled us with a budget-busting health care law that will most assuredly increase health care costs and thrust a new tax on the American people."

The silver lining comes from the high court's upholding of the Commerce Clause, which he said the federal government hoped to use to make Americans buy insurance, but which only applies to people "currently engaged in commercial activity."

"This represents the court's first express acknowledgement of the actual limits on the federal government's commerce power since the New Deal," he said in the statement.

Gov. Bob McDonnell also expressed disappointment with the decision, saying the act will result in "a costly and cumbersome system that will impair our country's ability to recover from these challenging economic times."

It will also hurt small businesses and take away personal liberties, the government said in a statement, which added the opinion will undergo further analysis as his administration determines future policy.

Both McDonnell and Cuccinelli used the ruling as a campaign rallying cry.

"It remains my hope that we will elect a new President and Senate so that the existing law will be repealed and states will be given the freedom they need to implement healthcare solutions that work best for their citizens," McDonnell said in his statement.

Voters will have an even more "critical role" in "ensuring that their liberties are preserved," Cuccinelli said during his press conference.

The U.S. Senate only needs 51 votes to repeal a tax bill, he noted in his latter statement.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report



Now my mother may actually get the preventative healthcare she's never been able to afford. My friend will finally be able to quit the job she hates because she won't 'need' their insurance - she's been looking for a new provider, but they consider her pregnancy a 'pre-existing condition'. And when my daughter graduates high-school and goes on to college, she'll still be covered under my health plan. I hope that everyone goes to http://www.healthcare.gov/law/index.html to really understand how the law works vs spouting what the talking heads tell them. Is it a perfect plan? No. Does it finally address some of the problems that have long existed with insurance companies that politicians didn't want to address because insurance companies donate to their campaigns? A resounding yes.

It's really difficult to understand why greedy Americans should expect to have health coverage. Don't they realize as long as our beloved leaders and politicians have the best health care (money can buy) that we should all know our place and be happy?

Our former "president", Dick Cheney recently jumped ahead of everyone and was given a heart transplant. Can't think of anyone who deserved it more. I guess all of his heart problems would be considered a preexisting condition. Certainly glad it didn't prevent him from having this life-saving procedure. There must be a God!

If this were you or me, under the old system - tough luck. And even now any kind of life-threatening disease such as cancer can "wipe you out" financially. Get on a waiting list for an organ, see how long it takes. Obama's health plan is far from perfect but it's a start.

Until we have universal health care or Medicare for all, we will have an ongoing problem, but throwing out the baby with the bath water isn't the solution either. Allow these Republicans to get back on the throne and we will all see how concerned they are.

Let them keep everyone divided. . . and distracted from the real issues. Pay attention to the scare tactics being used to convince the masses that health care reform is not urgently needed. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

Great job Ken! Speaking from both sides of the mouth in the same day! Add that to your victory in removing the voting from the Republican nomininating process and soon we'll have our next Democrat as Governor.


Yesterdays U.S. Supreme Court decision on ObamaCare also upholds Massachusetts' RomneyCare.

Huh? Did I just say RomneyCare is also constitutionally legal?

Well now, it appears Cuccinelli has two battles to fight, one against Obama and one against Romney.


bwaaaaahhhhhhhh HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

wow, with all these comments it's clear that America is already doomed. Nothing is free. Mary Christopher, you only get the parts you like...there is so much bad in this bill it outweighs the good. You do know that you have to PAY for your healthcare right? Your mom is going to have to PAY for here screenings or be fined with a big tax. Too bad for your friend. How sad that she actually HAS a job with benefits. Dang now she can just get another one...or maybe she just wants to live on the dole and get "free" care (which doesn't exist). Even without a job you will have to pay the $700 penalty tax...oops not so accessable huh? And its nice your daughter gets to stay on your insurance but insurance companies were going to keep that anyway...they get the extra money you pay...didn't your premiums go up?
Now Diane...under this plan a pannel of 15 people will get to decide if you get your treatment. Doctors will not have the right to decide that. If you have a pre existing condition you may get comfort, but actual saving help? Maybe, maybe not. It's all up to the pannel (and no I didn't make it up its in the bill)
ROLFLMAO, while I don't like Romney or Romney care it is not the same thing as Obama care because States are allowed to do this and the Federal government is not...yesterday was an example of our Constitution being shredded...what a surprise by a Bush appointee.
This is a bad bill. I pray to God it is repealed although it doesn't matter because the precedent has been set that the government can now make us buy anything they deem necessary or tax us to death. All the things you all like so much will be in the "replacement" bill. The Republicans are just as bad as the Democrats.
Health insurance should be like all other. You pay for your basic care and have insurance for the big things. Insurance was never meant to be the controlling factor of our lives. If people actually had to pay for their own basic care they might take better care of themselves, but as it is you pay a 10 or 20 dollar co pay and see the doctor for everything...sniffles, splinters, headaches...this is why it's so expensive and it's gonna get so much worse. Plus now business aren't going to be hiring and the economy is going to continue to tank. It truly is the USSA now. How sad.

I am suffering from ObamaCare outrage fatigue. The Tea Party Tin Foil Hat Marching Band and Tent Revival is responsible. They have never been right about anything and they lie about everything else. No reason to believe it will be any different this time.

Go sell your crackpot crazy Tea Party ideas to the flying saucer crowd. They enjoy and embrace like-minded stupidity and should be especially receptive to the conspiracy theories, birther lunacy, and that thing living on top of Trumps head.

there are halftruths lies and and then there are just damn lies.

Here are some facts you can read online from fact check.

The first years penalty i.e. 2014 is $95 for not having insurance. The number of $695 you gave kicks in in 2016.

Many Republicans have claimed the law’s Independent Payment Advisory Board will lead to a rationing of patient care. The purpose of the 15-member panel of doctors and medical professionals, economists and health care management experts, and representatives for consumers is to find ways to slow the growth in Medicare spending.PLEASE NOTE THIS PANEL DOES NOT RULE ON INDIVIDUALS CARE ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act explicitly states that IPAB “shall not include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums … increase Medicare beneficiary cost sharing (including deductibles, coinsurance, and co-payments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria.” The board’s recommendations, furthermore, will go before Congress, where they can be replaced with alternative cuts or rejected outright by a three-fifths majority.

As for killing jobs, this has been a standard line of attack for Republicans — one that was formalized in a January 2011 House bill titled “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.”

It’s true that the amount of labor in the economy would be reduced by “a small amount,” about half a percent, according to the CBO. That currently equals about 675,000 jobs. But the jobs would not be lost or killed. Most of those workers would have the “financial resources” — because of the subsidies provided by the law — to retire or reduce their hours, the CBO says.

Now, CBO also said that some businesses seeking to avoid paying for insurance could hire more part-time workers, rather than full-time employees. And John Sheils, senior vice president of The Lewin Group, has estimated that 150,000 to 300,000 low-wage jobs could be lost. But that estimate does not include the potential for job increases in the health and insurance industries. Overall, Sheils told us there would be a “small net job loss.”

And check on this site to see how health care has become a crisis in this country.


I guess you can blame it all on the sniffles.

I find it funny in a very sad way that the same people that have been screaming from the rooftops that everyone should pay their own way with no handouts NOW scream that we are in the USSA for finally coming to some sort of healthcare coverage for all and that those that opt out of having insurance will actually have to pay SOMETHING for it. Which is it or do you even know yourself?

I congratulate the Supreme Court for upholding the Constitution and I congratulate President Obama for his victory as well as the victory for all US citizens! I for one will not stand for our country to be lead by corporate America aka Mitt Romney!! What a short memory some have that corporate greed and mismanagement landed us in the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression and now you want Mr. Corporate America to lead??? Really? You're serious?

The Great Depression came in 1929 and we did not recover financially until 1941. That is 12 years for those who are mathematically challenged! We have been going through our current financial crisis since 2008 which is 4 years and people are screaming that financial recovery is taking too long! A worthy note here is to point out that 2 entitlement programs as some would call them are what helped keep us from a depression this time....Social Security and Unemployment!

I will also note here that my company's insurance premiums actually went DOWN this past January and no, we didn't get a higher deductible or less insurance! My company has also hired more in the past year than we have been since 2008. Though we have struggled along with everyone else these last few years, the company never considered opting out of offering insurance to its' employees!

Twenty-six Lies About H.R. 3200

A notorious analysis of the House health care bill contains 48 claims. Twenty-six of them are false and the rest mostly misleading. Only four are true.

Claim: Page 30: A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process)

False: Actually, the section starting on page 30 sets up a “private-public advisory committee” headed by the U.S. surgeon general and made up of mostly private sector “medical and other experts” selected by the president and the comptroller general. The advisory committee would have only the power “to recommend” what benefits are included in basic, enhanced and premium insurance plans. It would have no power to decide what treatments anybody will get. Its recommendations on benefits might or might not be adopted.


Yea, JS...agree.

A New Hampshire Tea Party head has said that he hopes the majority justices in the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act get “get colon cancer,” ....

And this character is exploring the option of running for a U.S. Representative seat in Congress in 2012. Sadly, given today's climate, he'll probably get it.

Take Kaiser's short, 10-question quiz to test your knowledge of the law, and then find out how you compare to the rest of the country, as represented by the findings of the Kaiser Family Foundation's monthly Health Tracking Poll."


PRIOR OBAMA/2009....Thirty-two of the thirty-three developed nations have universal health care, WITH THE UNITED STATES BEING THE LONE EXCEPTION. The following list, compiled from WHO sources where possible, shows the start date and type of system used to implement universal health care in each developed country. Note that universal health care does not imply government-only health care, as many countries implementing a universal health care plan continue to have both public and private insurance and medical providers.

Norway 1912 Single Payer
New Zealand 1938 Two Tier
Japan 1938 Single Payer
Germany 1941 Insurance Mandate
Belgium 1945 Insurance Mandate
United Kingdom 1948 Single Payer
Kuwait 1950 Single Payer
Sweden 1955 Single Payer
Bahrain 1957 Single Payer
Brunei 1958 Single Payer
Canada 1966 Single Payer
Netherlands 1966 Two-Tier
Austria 1967 Insurance Mandate
United Arab Emirates 1971 Single Payer
Finland 1972 Single Payer
Slovenia 1972 Single Payer
Denmark 1973 Two-Tier
Luxembourg 1973 Insurance Mandate
France 1974 Two-Tier
Australia 1975 Two Tier
Ireland 1977 Two-Tier
Italy 1978 Single Payer
Portugal 1979 Single Payer
Cyprus 1980 Single Payer
Greece 1983 Insurance Mandate
Spain 1986 Single Payer
South Korea 1988 Insurance Mandate
Iceland 1990 Single Payer
Hong Kong 1993 Two-Tier
Singapore 1993 Two-Tier
Switzerland 1994 Insurance Mandate
Israel 1995 Two-Tier
United States 2014? Insurance Mandate

Thank you, President Obama, for having the sense to see the humane need for U.S. citizens while realizing how politically charged this issue would be.

The same trite argument was voiced when Social Security was first proposed: "Opponents decried the proposal as socialism. In a Senate Finance Committee hearing, one Senator asked Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, "Isn't this socialism?" The debate on this proposal was heated and widespread, and lasted over six months. Beginning with a set of decisions in March, April, and May, 1937... Two Supreme Court rulings affirmed the constitutionality of the Social Security Act."

Using fact check or taking the Kaiser quiz would be a good idea, but it's so much easier to just parrot what you hear on the Rush Limbaugh show.

It interests me that we have folks living right here in Strasburg who are experts on the health care bill when professional legislators, attorneys, health care professionals and insurers, and even the Supreme Court consider it pretty complex. And BTW "panels" is spelled with one "n."

Ms. Bishop. Your condescending comments to Mary Christopher and others are over the top. I don't think Mary's comments implied in any way that she was under the mistaken impression that her mother would be getting free preventive care. Nor do I think the other commenters are incapable of forming an opinion without your expertise in interpreting the law.

I remain loath to personally criticize any particular poster on these forums. However, religious based political fanaticism is not a worthwhile goal for American democracy.

Bishop's many postings and comments reveal someone who is trapped in a grandious Pied Piper mindset wholely based without apology on religious beliefs. -- if only we could see the wisdom behind the vision that struggels to become popular and accepted.

These are despotic visions, a gerbil cage filled with ideas that endlessly run in a religiously driven circle. The argument that religious belief improves people, or that it helps to civilize society, is one that people tend to bring up when they have exhausted the rest of their case.

But where would people be without faith? Would they not abandon themselves to every kind of license and selfishness? With or without religion you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion.

The first thing to be said is that virtuous behavior by a believer is no proof at all of -- indeed is not even an argument for -- the truth of his belief. In other words, to believe in a god is in one way to express a willingness to believe in anything. Whereas to reject the belief is by no means to profess belief in nothing. At a minimum, this makes it impossible to argue that religion causes people to behave in a more kindly or civilized manner. As has become obvious with the revelations of Roman Catholic priests' homosexual relations with choir boys, the worse the offender, the more devout he turns out to be.

Many comparisons are made of the virtues of organized religion when compared to the atrocities of organized politics. What can one say when these two concepts -- virtue and atrocity -- are melded into one example?

Look at the church's surrender to German National Socialism. Despite sharing two important principles with Hitler's movement -- those of anti-Semitism and anti-Communism -- the Vatican could see that Nazism represented a challenge to itself as well. In the first place, Nazism was a quasi-pagan phenomenon which in the long run sought to replace Christianity with pseudo-Nordic blood rites and sinister race myths, based upon the fantasy of Aryan superiority. In the second place, it advocated an exterminationist attitude to the unwell, the unfit, and the insane, and began quite early on to apply this policy, not to Jews, but to Germans. To the credit of the church, it must be said that its German pulpits denounced this hideous eugenic culling from a very early date. It could be said Nazism practiced its atrocities on its own people before applying its expertise at extermination of sub-humans to then construct monstrosities like Auschwitz to solve the "Jewish problem".

But if ethical principle had been the guide, the Vatican would not have had to spend the next fifty years vainly trying to account for, or apologize for, its contemptible passivity and inaction. "Passivity" and "inaction," in fact, may be the wrong choice of words here. To decide to do nothing is itself a policy and a decision, and it is unfortunately easy to record and explain the church's alignment in terms of a real politik that sought, not the defeat of Nazism, but an accommodation with it.

The very first diplomatic accord undertaken by Hitler's government was consummated on July 8, 1933, a few months after the seizure of power, and took the form of a treaty with the Vatican. In return for unchallenged control of the education of Catholic children in Germany, the dropping of Nazi propaganda against the abuses inflicted in Catholic schools and orphanages, and the concession of other privileges to the church, the Holy See instructed the Catholic Center Party to disband, and brusquely ordered Catholics to abstain from any political activity on any subject that the regime chose to define as off-limits.

At the first meeting of his cabinet after this capitulation was signed, Hitler announced that these new circumstances would be "especially significant in the struggle against international Jewry." He was not wrong about this. In fact, he could have been excused for disbelieving his own luck. The twenty-three million Catholics living in the Third Reich, many of whom had shown great individual courage in resisting the rise of Nazism, had been gutted and gelded as a political force by no less an authority than their Pope. Their own Holy Father had in effect told them to render everything unto the worst Caesar in human history. From then on, parish records were made available to the Nazi state in order to establish who was and who was not "racially pure" enough to survive endless persecution under the Nuremberg laws.

Temporarily setting aside the relationship between todays Republican Party and evangelical fundamentalists, what else can be said of unholy alliances between religion and government?

It is often forgotten that the Axis triad included another member -- the Empire of Japan -- which had not only a religious person as its head of state, but an actual deity, a living god. If the appalling heresy of believing that Emperor Hirohito was god was ever denounced from any German or Italian pulpit or by any prelate, I have been unable to discover the fact. In the sacred name of this ridiculously overrated mammal, huge areas of China and Indochina and the Pacific were plundered and enslaved. In his name, too, millions of indoctrinated Japanese were martyred and sacrificed. So imposing and hysterical was the cult of this god-king that it was believed that the whole Japanese people might resort to suicide if his person was threatened at the end of the war. It was accordingly decided that he could "stay on," but that he would henceforward have to claim to be an emperor only, and perhaps only somewhat divine, but not strictly speaking a god. This deference to the strength of religious opinion must involve the admission that faith and worship can make people behave very badly indeed.

All major confrontations over the right to free thought, free speech, and free inquiry have taken the same form of a religious attempt to assert the literal and limited mind over the ironic and inquiring one. It begins with a fraud, it ends with a force.

We are the pure and chosen few,
and all the rest are damned.
There's room enough in hell for you,
we don't want heaven crammed.

George Eliot

Yes, isn't it pathetic the 'following' that Limbaugh has, and his disciples regurgitate his message without question. He is such an
authority on everything...this man who only had two semesters and one summer of college; and, according to his mother, "he flunked everything", been married four (4) times, caught trying to smuggle Viagra through U.S. customs inbound, acknowledged abusing prescription drugs, etc., and never served in the military as he was classified as "1-Y" (later reclassified "4-F") due to a pilonidal cyst; i.e., a cyst or abscess near or on the natal cleft of the buttocks that often contains hair and skin debris. TMI???

Can you image the number of professional legislators, attorneys, health care professionals and insurers who participated and/or were consulted during the drafting H.R. 3200 aka Obamacare?

Thanks for the spell check; however, that remark needs to be addressed to Kim Bishop.

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