Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry A. Waxman, who has a few days left to enjoy that position, issued the following statement in response to the December 13, 2010, ruling on the constitutionality of the “individual mandate” provision of the Affordable Care Act by federal district judge Henry Hudson:
“There have been almost 20 cases filed challenging health reform. All the others that have come to judgment have been dismissed. We always knew that there was a chance that one or two judges would buck the clear legal consensus that the law is constitutional, just as some judges once ruled that Social Security was illegal.
“But one way or another, this question is clearly headed to the Supreme Court. When it gets there, I am confident that cooler heads will prevail and that the health reform law will be upheld in full.”
He also had something to say about the results in Cancun:
“The nations of the world have reached a balanced agreement to work to fight global climate change and promote clean energy. This is a good step forward, building on the Copenhagen Accord and setting the stage for further progress as nations take actions consistent with this agreement.”
Republican Representative Fred Upton, of the Sixth District in Michigan, will be replacing Representative Waxman in January as Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Under the headline: “Top priority in the new Congress will be full repeal of the job-killing health care law,” here’s what he had to say about the decision declaring the “individual mandate” to be unconstitutional:
“Today, a U.S. District Court ratified what many Americans have known for the past year: the health care law is not only bad policy, it is unconstitutional as well. This decision strikes a blow for freedom and the enduring constitutional principles of our forefathers.
“When the health care law was being debated, Energy and Commerce Republicans warned that Obamacare represented an unprecedented intrusion by government into the lives of American citizens. At the time, we argued that the individual mandate violated Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution – the Commerce Clause – because it purported to regulate an individual’s ‘inactivity.’ If the government could compel individuals to engage in activities they wished to avoid – such as the purchase of health insurance – what restrictions could there possibly be on government’s power?
“That is why today’s decision striking down the individual mandate is so welcome. While the legal fights over the health care law are just beginning, our Committee will vigorously weigh in and assert our oversight authority to ensure that the federal government is returned to its properly limited role. Our top priority in the new Congress will be repealing the job-killing health care law.
“In the months ahead, we will be holding hearings on the unconstitutional aspects of the health care law and other critical health care challenges facing our nation. In the meantime, we urge the administration to cease and desist its efforts to implement the law and work with Congress on reforms that actually reduce costs for consumers in a free-market, constitutionally permissible manner.”
As this article was published on Friday, December 17th, Representative Upton’s press secretary had not been able to get back to Etopia News with a comment from his boss about the climate conference in Cancun.