Individual Mandate Unconstitutional
forbes.com - In a ruling out of the U.S. District Court in Pensacola Justice Roger Vinson has declared that the primary mechanism whereby the health reform achieves universal insurance coverage–the individual mandate–is unconstitutional. “Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications,” he writes.
With this ruling, and a similar one in December by Judge Henry Hudson in Virginia, it’s likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will be the final arbiter of whether Obamacare stands.
Henry Hudson, the Virginia judge who ruled in favor of that state’s legal challenge, focused on whether Congress has the ability, via the Commerce Clause, to force uninsured people to buy insurance. He concluded that it does not.
Vinson, on the other hand, signaled in an earlier ruling that he was interested in whether the federal fine for not buying insurance is a tax or a penalty. If it’s a penalty, the legislation relies on a broad Commerce Clause interpretation. If it’s a tax, it’s much more difficult to make a constitutional claim against it.
In today’s ruling Vinson considered two arguments made by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, the lead plaintiff on the lawsuit. The first was the legislation forces states to expand Medicaid in a way that’s unaffordable. Vinson quickly dispatches that legal theory, pointing out that Medicaid is and always has been a voluntary program.
The second argument revolves around the individual mandate. The health reform legislation makes it illegal for insurers to discriminate against patients regardless of their health. With that change there’s a risk that only sick people would buy insurance and healthy people would wait or be priced out of the market. To address that problem, the bill forces everyone who does not have insurance to buy it. The combination of “guaranteed issue” and the “individual mandate” is the beating heart of the health bill.
While the new rules banning medical underwriting are popular, the individual mandate has bred resentment. The bill’s authors never anticipated the mandate would become a ripe target for legal challenges. - Entire column > >
Blog author's comments -While I think the ruling is good news, I am not all that confident it will stand without a long fight. Judge Vinson will experience much arm twisting from the Obama regime.
This will probably go to the Supreme Court where Kagan and the "Wise Latina" with the other liberal justices will attempt to keep Obamacare as it is now. But, if Justice Anthony Kennedy (the swing vote) is still a member of the SCOTUS he may vote with the right. Who knows how long it will take before the high court will hear the case or if it will ever go to them.
The majority of the people have never wanted Obamacare. But because Obama views this as his legacy he will do whatever it takes to see that it is not repealed.
The waivers to over 700 companies and corporations which enable them to opt out of this health care law keep growing. This should tell the Democrats that we don't want it. But they all knew this before they voted for it.