Sebelius and Holder: 'Confident' That Health Care Law 'Will Ultimately Be Upheld'

By Susan Jones | December 14, 2010 | 9:02 AM EST

President Obama signs the Democrats’ health care bill into law in the East Room of the White House on Tuesday, March 23, 2010. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

( - Two Cabinet secretaries, writing in the Washington Post on Tuesday, predicted that the Democrats' health care law will survive the challenges to its constitutionality.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder said opponents of the law are trying to "invent new constitutional theories and dig up old ones that were rejected 80 years ago."

On  Monday, a federal judge in Virginia rejected a key provision of Obamacare -- the requirement that individual Americans purchase health insurance."An individual's personal decision to purchase -- or decline to purchase -- health insurance from a private provider is beyond the historical reach of the Commerce Clause," said Judge Henry Hudson, a 2002 Bush appointee.

Sebelius and Holder contend that Americans who can afford it should be required to pay for health insurance. "That's important, because when people who don't have insurance show up at emergency rooms, we don't deny them care," they wrote.

"Opponents claim the individual responsibility provision is unlawful because it 'regulates inactivity.' But none of us is a bystander when it comes to health care. All of us need health care eventually. Do we pay in advance, by getting insurance, or do we try to pay later, when we need medical care?"

Sebelius and Holder concluded, "We are confident that the law will ultimately be upheld."

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