WAMU 88.5 : News

Virginia Wins Challenge To Health Care Law

Play associated audio

A federal judge in Richmond has ruled that a significant part of the sweeping federal health care law is unconstitutional, handing a victory to Va. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, whose office brought the lawsuit challenging the law.

U.S. Eastern District Court Judge Henry Hudson rejected the federal government's argument that it could require Americans to purchase insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014, when the provision would take effect.

In a teleconference following the decision, Cuccinelli called this a great day for the constitution, but also acknowledged that his fight is far from over.

"I think it's a reasonable presumption that this will all end at the U.S. Supreme Court, and while we look forward to getting there, we're much happier to go with a win in round one," he says.

The lawsuit was a logical extension of Virginia's Health Care Freedom Act, passed by state lawmakers in the spring. It states that no Virginian shall be forced to buy health insurance.

Cuccinelli pointed out that the state law was a bipartisan effort.

"That bipartisan effort was not a squeaker -- the last vote in the House of Delegates was 90-to-3," he says.

Northern Virginia Rep. Jim Moran (D) says he strongly disagrees with the ruling. He says he's not surprised by the ruling, however, because he regards Hudson as a conservative judge.

"I think Judge Hudson's conservative ideology is somewhat at odds with the majority of the American people," Moran says.

Hudson is the first federal judge to rule against the health care law. Other judges in Virginia and Michigan have upheld its constitutionality.

NPR

A Compelling Plot Gives Way To Farce In Franzen's Purity

The new novel reveals sharp observations and a great, sprawling story. But critic Roxane Gay says the book gets bogged down with absurdly-drawn characters and misfired critiques of modern life.
NPR

Huge Fish Farm Planned Near San Diego Aims To Fix Seafood Imbalance

The aquaculture project would be the same size as New York's Central Park and produce 11 million pounds of yellowtail and sea bass each year. But some people see it as an aquatic "factory farm."
WAMU 88.5

Europe's Ongoing Migrant And Refugee Crisis And The Future Of Open Borders

The Austria-Hungary border has become the latest pressure point in Europe's ongoing migrant crisis. An update on the huge influx of migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa and the future of open borders within the E.U.

WAMU 88.5

Environmental Outlook: How to Build Smarter Transportation And More Livable Cities

A new report says the traffic in the U.S. is the worst it has been in years. Yet, some urban transportation experts say there's reason to be optimistic. They point to revitalized city centers, emerging technology and the investment in alternative methods of transportation. A conversation about how we get around today, and might get around tomorrow.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.