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A district court judge’s decision to dismiss a legal challenge to the demands of President Obama’s nationalization of health care that people buy government-approved insurance simply means the case will get to the Supreme Court and be rejected, more quickly, according to lawyers raising the objections.
“I am confident that the federal health-care law will eventually be struck down on appeal because it is unconstitutional,” said Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University’s School of Law.
The law firm is handling the challenge to Obamacare on behalf of the university.
“Congress does not have the authority to force every American to purchase a particular kind of health insurance product,” he said. “I am pleased the federal court found that Liberty University and the private plaintiffs have standing to pursue this claim.
“The court’s ruling on the merits of the Commerce Clause, while wrong now, puts the case on a fast track to the federal court of appeals. This ruling will expedite a final resolution of the case,” he said.
The case is one of more than a dozen that challenge Obamacare’s constitutionality. Many of the others remain pending at the district court level. In this case, Judge Norman Moon, a Clinton appointee, opined that Congress is within its powers under the Commerce Clause to demand people buy insurance – or pay a huge tax penalty.
His opinion said whatever people decide about their own health care – including a decision not to purchase any – impacts interstate commerce.
Analysts believe the issue ultimately will be determined by the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Liberty University case, with the announced appeal with the 4th Circuit, brings that one step closer.
A judge in a Michigan-based lawsuit came to a similar conclusion a few weeks ago, and that case also is being advanced to the appellate level.
According to Liberty Counsel, “Moon’s ruling on the Commerce Clause claim contradicts decisions from courts in Richmond, Va., and Pensacola, Fla., which have denied similar motions to dismiss lawsuits against the health-care bill.”
Liberty also raised the issue earlier of the dozens of exemptions granted to favored companies by the Obama administration to the requirements of the law.
The exemptions were sought by a long list of companies, including McDonald’s, that provide “mini-med” coverage for minimum-wage and part-time workers.
Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh described the move as a series of “pardons.”
The conflict arose because plans, such as that provided by McDonald’s, reached a maximum benefit of $2,000 per year. That type of plan is banned by Obamacare.
But Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., which has thousands of people covered by health insurance and has brought a legal challenge to the plan, said the special treatment was out of line.
“President Obama’s administration has temporarily exempted the United Federation of Teachers, a key political backer of President Obama, from certain provisions of the health-care law,” said a statement from Liberty Counsel, which is handling the case.
“These temporary exemptions relieve these firms from new health-care standards that are being imposed on countless other companies around the nation. The fact that these waivers needed to be issued in the first place is an admission by the federal government that the health-care legislation from Congress and the president has a negative effect on businesses in this country.
“Liberty University, the world’s largest Christian university, has not been given an exemption from the health-care law. It is fundamentally unfair that Liberty University will be excluded from any kind of exemption while a select group of companies will receive special treatment. The temporary exemption was given because the Obama administration knew the burdensome impact that would have been placed upon these companies on the eve of the November election.”
In a related effort, nearly 48,000 voices from across America are offering their encouragement to members of the U.S. House on plans to overturn Obamacare.
The campaign is a petition drive that urges members of Congress to repeal Obamacare because of several problems:
- Whereas, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, approved by a narrow vote of the House of Representatives earlier this year, threatens to transform the U.S. health-care system from its roots in free enterprise and personal choice;
- Whereas, the act is unconstitutional because of its unprecedented requirement that Americans purchase a service;
- Whereas, the system the law would create is financially unsustainable, places personal medical decisions in the hands of bureaucrats and is likely to lead to rationing of health-care options;
- Whereas, the act is likely to result in forcing some 87 million Americans to drop their current health-care coverage;
- Whereas, the costs involved in complying with the law are likely to cost more Americans their jobs, inhibit the creation of new employment opportunities and suppress wages …
The petition drive was launched by Joseph Farah, founder and CEO of WorldNetDaily, who said the results are worthy of note already.
“This is a very impressive petition, but it will be much more impressive at 100,000 or 200,000 or 1 million,” he said. “We need people signing and spreading the news about this effort – news that has not been reported anywhere else except at WND.”