The new healthcare law is unconstitutional because it represents an overreach of power by the federal government, says Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
He presented the state’s case against Obamacare in federal court in Richmond Monday and explained his reasoning in a conference call with reporters.
Virginia presented two basic arguments, Cuccinelli explains. “The first addresses the individual mandate – the directive by the government that every American has to purchase government-approved health insurance,” he said.
“They claimed authority to direct that under the [constitution’s] commerce clause. Virginia’s position is that goes beyond the power the government has under the commerce clause.”
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Oct. 18, 2010 &mdash; Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who has filed suit challenging the new federal healthcare law, contends Obamacare is unconstitutional because it represents an overreach of power by the federal government. He presented the state&rsquo;s case against Obamacare in federal court in Richmond Monday.
Virginia’s second argument rebuts the White House claim that the penalty associated with not purchasing government-mandated health insurance is a tax, thereby allowing the government to impose it.
“That’s unprecedented. Nothing like this has ever before been claimed,” Cuccinelli says.
“In the brief they were calling a ‘tax penalty’ what in the bill was called a ‘penalty.’”
The requirement for individuals to buy health insurance is unconstitutional, “because it penalizes Americans for not engaging in commerce,” he says. “The government is attempting to stretch the commerce clause to regulate inactivity, something it’s never done before.”
A law like this hasn’t been passed before because everyone has realized it would be unconstitutional Cuccinelli says.
“This case ultimately isn’t about healthcare, it’s about protecting liberty, it’s about the outer reach of federal power,” he said. “Virginia is attempting to put the federal government back inside the constitutional fence that the founding fathers put in place.”
A decision against Virginia would be a disaster, Cuccinelli says. “If Virginia loses this fight and the federal government is allowed to cross this line, Congress will be granted virtually unlimited power to order you to buy anything.”
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