December 13,2010

Grassley on Virginia Health Care Lawsuit


TO:     Reporters and Editors
RE:     Virginia health care lawsuit
DA:     Monday, December 13, 2010

Senator Chuck Grassley issued the comment below about the ruling by a federal judge in Virginia that said Congress could not order individuals to buy health insurance.

As Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance, in 2008 and 2009, Senator Grassley participated in the bipartisan effort for health care reform that could secure support across the political spectrum.  In September 2009, that effort was thwarted by Democratic leaders in Washington.  From 2007 through 2009, there was a rigorous debate over the individual mandate.  President Obama staunchly opposed it as a candidate for President.  The concerns he raised then became more clear as the reform debate unfolded, including enforcement.  Health insurance companies lobbied for the mandate, which drives billions of tax dollars in new subsidies directly to them.

Senator Grassley’s comment:

“The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service called requiring people to buy a good or service or be penalized a ‘novel issue,’ and now a federal court has ruled it unconstitutional.  The ruling is likely to be appealed, but it’s a clear signal that the constitutionality of the law, which was moved through Congress with a lot of controversy and partisanship, isn’t as certain as its supporters have argued.”