November 12, 2010
Senator Rockefeller, Health Care, and the West Virginia Law Review
The just-published issue of West Virginia Law Review is a Symposium on "Health Care in America" and is one of the first law review issues to substantively address the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The journal includes discussion of a few of the constitutional issues raised by the Act, including an article by Professor Dayna Bowen Matthew of University of Colorado that non-disparate health care should be conceptualized as a property interest and an article by Professor Eleanor D. Kinney of the Indiana University School of Law considering health care as an international human right. Additionally, Professor Sidney D. Watson of St. Louis University School of Law contributes an article focused on health care in rural communities.
The law review issue, the first in Volume 113, is dedicated to Senator John D. Rockefeller, IV, the senior senator from West Virginia and longtime advocate for health care reform. In a ceremony today, Senator Rockefeller addressed criticisms of the Affordable Care Act, including those who question the constitutionality of the individual mandate, a topic we've covered here, here, and here. Rockefeller reminded his audience that a federal court recently rejected such a challenge to the Act. Rockefeller had few positive words for the for-profit health insurance industry, discussing his support for the ultimately unsuccessful public option. Rockefeller suggested that the constitutionality of the Act - - - as well as its importance - - - does not rest on the Act itself but on its forthcoming implementation by the Department of Health and Human Services. Rockefeller urged the law students to actively engage with the constitutional issues as well as the specifics of the future of health care reform.
(with J. Zak Ritchie, WVU College of Law, Class of 2011)
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