I was delighted to speak with the courageous
Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia Attorney General —
and candidate for Governor — instrumental in
the legal fight against Obamacare and author of
the new book, The Last Line of Defense: The
New Fight for American Liberty:
RUSH: Ken Cuccinelli. I appreciate your
making the time, thanks for joining us here.
CUCCINELLI: I’m glad to do it.
RUSH: Before we get to your book —
and it’s not going to be long, because your
book has the left in a tizzy, which I love.
CUCCINELLI: [Laughs] Yes, it does. Even before we released it.
RUSH: I don’t know if you saw it or not, but there’s a supposed
conservative blogger for The Washington Post named Jennifer Rubin.
CUCCINELLI: “Supposed” is fair.
RUSH: She raked you over the coals for spelling out conservative
principles. Amazing. It’s an indication of where we are. Anyway, while
I have you, what is the state of legal play with regard to Obamacare
right now? What, if any, important cases are coming down the pike
that might provide any kind of opposition to it?
CUCCINELLI: Well, there’s no silver bullet. Those have been
fired. The big ones that are coming now are the religious liberty cases
and the state-exchange/employer fine cases. I’m sure you already know
about the religious liberty cases, so let me explain the state fine cases
for those states that do not set up a state health insurance exchange.
The federal health care law penalizes employers $2,000 or $3,000 per
employee per year when employees of that company can’t get affordable health insurance at the workplace and instead have to get subsidized health insurance from the state health insurance exchange. If
there is no state health insurance exchange — if Virginia, for example,
doesn’t set up that exchange and instead defaults to the feds doing
it — the statute says nothing about those businesses paying anything.
So the IRS is scrambling now.
RUSH: Is that an oversight when they wrote the law?
CUCCINELLI: I’d say it’s hubris. They assumed everybody would
create their own state exchange, even when they had the choice not
to. It never occurred to them when they passed the only entitlement
in history on a uni-partisan basis, that maybe Republicans wouldn’t
cooperate in afflicting the populace with this grand scheme of theirs.
So now we have a bunch of Republican states that aren’t setting these
up. We’re creating this second line of cases that are going to happen when the feds fine businesses — including state governments.
Virginia’s state government is essentially a corporation for federal
law purposes. They’re going to sue us, or the businesses, for these
fines. There’s going to be a fight over whether they’re owed at all.
Interestingly, the four dissenting justices in the health care case commented on this. It wasn’t a central part of the case, but they said,
“Look, this means what it says. If states don’t set up health insurance
exchanges, these penalties can’t be applied.”
RUSH: So why haven’t the Democrats in Washington amended
CUCCINELLI: They can’t. The House would never agree to it.
RUSH: Thank God.
CUCCINELLI: Yes. And I am watching Maryland and Washington,
D.C. contemplate, and presumably proceed with, not only setting up
health insurance exchanges, but indeed passing legislation to apply