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Friday, December 17, 2010

ObamaCare, Individual Mandate Looks to be Facing Another Blow in Florida Court Case

There is more bad news for Obama and his key piece of legislation. In the Florida court, ObamaCare is looking to be facing another blow to the constitutionality of the individual mandate provision, based on comments by the judge that is presiding over the case. Judge Vinson has expressed his doubts about the provision in the new healthcare law:

A federal judge in a 20-state lawsuit against the Obama administration's health overhaul signaled Thursday he is sympathetic to the plaintiffs' argument that requiring Americans to carry health insurance violates the Constitution...........

The plaintiffs consist of governors and attorneys general led by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, all but one of them Republicans. They argue that the "individual mandate" requiring Americans to carry insurance is beyond the federal government's power under the Constitution's commerce clause. Failure to buy insurance is "inactivity," they argue, not "activity" that Congress can regulate.

Judge Vinson, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, signaled he saw the requirement as unprecedented and a potential imposition on Americans' individual liberties. The case is one of some two dozen federal lawsuits that are ultimately expected to be decided by the Supreme Court.

"It would be a giant leap for the Supreme Court to say that a decision to buy or not to buy is tantamount to activity," Judge Vinson told the court.............

"If they decide that everyone needs to eat broccoli," then the commerce clause could allow Congress to require everyone to buy a certain quantity of broccoli, the judge said.

Liberals are already trying to tell you what not to eat. It would not be a huge move for them to start telling people what to eat and mandating people that they do it. A lawyer for the administration tried to dismiss the judge’s broccoli comparison, but as Ed Morrissey points out, that comparison is more apt than he is willing to admit to:

The Department of Justice attorney representing the Obama administration argued that the food argument wasn’t relevant because at some point in time, everyone buys health care services. Everyone buys food, too, and this particular argument is not only relevant but also linked. Since diet is a part of health maintenance, setting this kind of precedent not only allows the federal government to issue a must-purchase order of broccoli (or vegetables in general), it will almost certainly result in the issuance of such mandates — followed by the inevitable subsidies. And as with the nanny-state ObamaCare bill, food-police advocates will insist that they are doing it to save public funds wasted on Americans who insist on
making occasional unhealthy choices in food.

That individual mandate is a slippery slope that the liberals will be more than willing to go down in the future, in order to turn this country into a full-blown nanny state. They feel like they know what is better for us and will make us behave, and if we don’t do what they want us to do, they will punish us with fines and/or jail time.

The other argument that ObamaCare will force states to expand their Medicaid programs seems to be a losing argument for the states, though. From what he has said, so far, he doubts that argument is valid because states can opt out of the Medicaid program.

Also, he has expressed his concern that once parts of this bill are implemented that it may be impossible to pull it all back:

Judge Vinson likened the law to a clock when taking one wheel away would prevent the whole from functioning. But he also acknowledged that peeling back certain pieces of the law would be tricky. Already in effect, he said, is a provision of that law that gives nursing mothers lactation areas inside the workplace. "How can you possibly undo some of these things?" he asked.

He’s exactly right, when he says that it would be very hard to pull back on some of these provisions in the bill, and that is exactly why we need to stop this monstrosity before it goes too far. It needs to be repealed and they need to start anew.

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