Monday, December 13, 2010

Today's Health Care Reform ruling was a victory for Progressives

There are panicked tweets and Facebook posts all over the internet announcing that the Health Care Reform Bill has been struck down by a district court in the 4th Circuit here in Richmond, Virginia. This is emphatically not the case. Today's ruling was not a victory for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli; it was in fact a backwards, accidental, unplanned and completely unintended victory for Progressives.

The only part of the law that Judge Henry E. Hudson struck down was the personal mandate forcing Americans to purchase health care insurance at whatever rate the private insurance companies cared to charge us. The only part of Health Care Reform that was struck down was the part that Big Business loved.

The rest of the Health Care Reform, designed to address the abuses of the industry, stands. Ken Cuccinelli may have just cost the Health Care fat cats billions in lost revenues from people forced to buy health insurance at inflated prices.

The real solution to health care in this country remains either a public option or universal health care. The fight for one of those options goes on. Barack Obama had the chance to advance either one of these solutions, but failed and really sold Americans out to big business. Today's ruling reverses that blunder by a president who has made it clear that he is no progressive.

Progressives need to organize and fight for control of the Democratic Party so that when, in the due course of time, we have our next opportunity to control the public agenda in our nation we can press for real health care reform, and not a corporate welfare program disguised as health care reform.

You can read the ruling here. Section VIII deals with the issue of severability.
Therefore, this Court will hew closely to the time-honored rule to sever with circumspection, severing any "problematic portions while leaving the remainder intact." Ayotte, 546 U.S. at 329, 126 S.Ct. at 967. Accordingly, the Court will sever only Section 1501 and directly-dependent provisions which make specific reference to Section 1501.
This is not the last word on Healthcare Reform; there will be a lot more litigation. But if, in the end, this decision is allowed to stand, then it isn't the big defeat that some on the Right are painting it as--it's actually a step in the right direction.

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