Tuesday, February 1, 2011


A Florida federal district judge found Obamacare's individual mandate to be unconstitutional, and argued that since the mandate was an integral part of the legislation, the entire bill should be declared void:

"While the individual mandate was clearly 'necessary and essential' to the act as drafted, it is not 'necessary and essential' to health care reform in general," he continued. "Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire act must be declared void."

The best part, though, is that Judge Vinson used then-candidate Obama's own words against his signature legislation (via the Washington Times):

“I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that, ‘If a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house,’” Judge Vinson wrote in a footnote toward the end of his 78-page ruling Monday.

As the kids say, 'aw, snap!'.

The feds have sworn to appeal the ruling (no doubt that isn't the only swearing going on), and so it is on to the 11th Circuit.  There have been requests to skip the appeals and take it directly to the Supreme Court, but the Dept. of Justice refuses to fast track the process.  Why skip to the final authority when we can spend millions of taxpayer and state dollars dragging this thing through the appeals process?   

A DoJ mouthpiece stated that:

"We are analyzing this opinion to determine what steps, if any -- including seeking a stay -- are necessary while the appeal is pending to continue our progress toward ensuring that Americans do not lose out on the important protections this law provides, that the millions of children and adults who depend on Medicaid programs receive the care the law requires, and that the millions of seniors on Medicare receive the benefits they need," she added.

Well imagine that.  Repealing Obamacare will somehow stop SCHIP, Medicaid and Medicare from serving the people who need it.  How did that happen?  Or could it be that it's yet another straw man argument from the left in a desperate ploy to gin up support?  You know, scare all those old and poor people and parents into thinking they will lose SCHIP or Medicare/aid if Obamacare is repealed.   Well, it's time to call BS on this ridiculous line of thinking right now.  If this nightmare of a bill is struck down, those programs will continue on as usual - which still isn't good in the case of Medicare, but isn't as bad as with Obamacare.  Actually, repeal will save having $177 billion stripped from the Medicare Advantage program alone, which would have effectively done away with the popular program's perks.

Let's also address the spin about Obamacare "saving" over $200 billion in it's first decade, while we're at it. What a load of bunk.   Now technically speaking, it's true, because the law will be taxing us to death $800+ billion over the next 10 years, while the actual cost of Obamacare for those first 10 years will be about $600 billion - thus $200 billion in "savings".  Unfortunately, those $800+ billion in taxes will only be covering 6 years of the decade.  So how much will we be "saving" in the next decade and beyond?  Or will we only be offering 6 years of coverage per decade of taxation from here on out?

This law is a terrible thing for our country.  The few things that are good about it - no more preexisting conditions, for instance (which is easily regulated, no 'comprehensive overhaul' required) - are far outweighed by the things that are bad about it, like, well, $800 billion of new taxes, for starters, as well as the fact that the bill will now be forcing people to buy a good or service (not to mention it is so convoluted and byzantine that it will take years - and lots of lawsuits, no doubt - to figure out).  It would be far easier to repeal and replace than "fix" Obamacare.

What seems to have been lost in the debate is the fact that we are forgetting how we were originally sold the need for health care "reform".  Let's not forget that the original argument for comprehensive reform was because there were so many people uninsured namely because they couldn't afford it.  Well, all that has happened is that those same people still can't afford insurance, but now they face fines and penalties if they don't comply - enforced by the dreaded IRS, no less.  Not to mention the increase in rates since Obamacare passed means even more people can't afford insurance now.  Way to legislate, 111th Congress! 

Above and beyond all that, how good can the bill possibly be if over 700 companies, unions and even states have received waivers protecting them from it?  Many of those companies and unions were big supporters of the law while it was being shoved down our throats working it's way through Congress.  Now that they have to live under it and are seeing the real numbers involved, suddenly it's waiver city.  It's no surprise the unions got waivers - there was talk back during the making of this mess of a law to waive them from certain responsibilities.    Since they couldn't do it by the front door, they just snuck around the back. 

This decision was big, for a few reasons.  First, not only does Judge Vinson say that the mandate is unconstitutional, he also says the necessary removal of that unconstitutional clause makes the entire bill collapse, and as such, the entire bill should be struck down.  Second, his 78 page decision will be closely scrutinized by future appeals courts as well as the Supreme Court.   It is well reasoned and very thorough, and will present quite an obstacle for the DoJ in future appeals.  Third, this gives those in opposition to the law a second wind and affirmation that their argument is sound.  Oh, and the professional left is trying to say that the score is 2-2, which apparently in their world means it's some sort of judicial draw.  Unfortunately for them, the two findings in their favor are from lower courts, which means this finding, as well as the one preceeding it, both overrule the two earlier findings.  It's not about how many decisions go your way, it is the standing of the court that counts. 
Ultimately it is up to the Supreme Court.  Unfortunately, that could be years away.  In the meantime, this is a strong victory for supporters of repeal, and a big blow to the DoJ's case.  Good job, Bill McCollum, Pam Bondi, et al!

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