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Posted at 6:32 PM ET, 01/31/2011

Left unprepared for ObamaCare ruling

By Jennifer Rubin

Liberal pundits who have consulted liberal law professors about liberals' great achievement -- ObamaCare -- are pronouncing the ruling by Judge Roger Vinson to be much to do about nothing. The ruling is. . . um. . . thinking of a case liberals hate. . . um. . . just like Bush v. Gore ! (Except it has nothing to do with the Equal Protection Clause or any other aspect of that case.) It is, we are told, "curious," "odd," or "unconventional."

These are complaints, not legal arguments. And they suggest that the left was totally unprepared for the constitutional attack on their beloved handiwork. After all, the recent mocking by the left of conservatives' reverence for the Constitution suggests they are mystified that a 200-year old document could get in the way of their historic achievement. They are truly nonplussed, and so they vamp, not with reasoned analysis but with an outpouring of adjectives.

Liberals are particularly perturbed by Judge Vinson's ruling on severability, the determination as to whether the individual mandate is so central to the law as to make the law unrecognizable and unenforceable without it. But here, the left has only the administration and the Democratic Congress to blame. From the opinion (the defendants are the Obama officials):

Having determined that the individual mandate exceeds Congress' power under the Commerce Clause, and cannot be saved by application of the Necessary and Proper Clause, the next question is whether it is severable from the remainder of the Act. In considering this issue, I note that the defendants have acknowledged that the individual mandate and the Act's health insurance reforms, including the guaranteed issue and community rating, will rise or fall together as these reforms "cannot be severed from the [individual mandate]."

Oops. Not some crazy judge, but the administration was the source of the notion that the individual mandate can't be severed from the rest of the law.

But it's not just the administration; it seems Congress did its part to contribute to the invalidation of the whole statute. Judge Vinson observes that "the Act does not contain a 'severability clause,' which is commonly included in legislation to provide that if any part or provision is held invalid, then the rest of the statute will not be affected." He observes that this defect is not necessarily determinative. However, "The lack of a severability clause in this case is significant because one had been included in an earlier version of the Act, but it was removed in the bill that subsequently became law." Oh, now, there's a problem.

That is no small matter, the judge explains:

The absence of a severability clause is further significant because the individual mandate was controversial all during the progress of the legislation and Congress was undoubtedly well aware that legal challenges were coming. Indeed, as noted earlier, even before the Act became law, several states had passed statutes declaring the individual mandate unconstitutional and purporting to exempt their residents from it; and Congress' own attorneys in the [Congressional Research Service] had basically advised that the challenges might well have legal merit as it was 'unclear' if the individual mandate had 'solid constitutional foundation.'"

As the opinion goes on, the judge makes clear that the Obama team dug its own grave on the severability point:

To be sure, the words "protection" and "affordable" in the title of the Act itself are inextricably tied to the health insurance reform provisions (and the individual mandate in particular), as the defendants have emphasized throughout the course of this litigation

Ezra Klein cherry picks one line from the case ("This is not a situation that is likely to be repeated") as evidence the court is doing something untoward. But a cursory reading of the the preceding pages explains why this outcome is not likely to be repeated. Congress in removing the severability clause, the Obama lawyers in repeatedly arguing the individual mandate was essential to the statute and, finally, the interlocking pieces of the statute itself are such that it's hard to imagine a similar case arising.

The only thing "odd" about the ruling is the left's response. The cheerleaders for ObamaCare better hope the Obama legal team has some better arguments in the upcoming rounds of litigation.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 31, 2011; 6:32 PM ET
Categories:  law  
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Comments

The Dems chose not to make the mandate severable. Hoist on their own petard.

Two things are dooming Obamacare: Democracy, i.e. the recent landslide which removed so many of its supporters; and law -- the limited and enumerated powers of the Congress in Article One of the Constitution versus a reading of the Commerce Clause which has already been stretched beyond the wildest nightmares of the Founders and which the present majority on the Court can't be expected to stretch any further.

Posted by: eoniii | January 31, 2011 7:41 PM | Report abuse

limited gov't

“The Commerce Clause originally applied to the trade and exchange of goods as it sought to eliminate trade barriers by and between the states. Over the years, the Clause’s reach has been expanded from covering actual interstate commerce (and its channels and instrumentalities) to intrastate activities that substantially affect interstate commerce. It has even been applied to activities that involve the mere consumption of a product (even if there is no legal commercial interstate market for that product). To now hold that Congress may regulate the so-called “economic decision” to not purchase a product or service in anticipation of future consumption is a “bridge too far.” It is without logical limitation and far exceeds the existing legal boundaries established by Supreme Court precedent.”

Posted by: engdre | January 31, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Jeez Jennifer, your sarcasm just makes you come off as vapid. I have no idea why you would feel the need to include a note that Bush v. Gore covered a different issue than this case other than to make Ezra appear stupid and build yourself up. Anyone who read his column would see he was only using the case as an example of a court had basically making the claim that a case was so special that the court was departing from its usual procedure with its holding.

Posted by: mustangs79 | January 31, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

the constitutional lecturer speaks on the mandate:

“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 the 78-page ruling Monday.

Posted by: engdre | January 31, 2011 7:56 PM | Report abuse

The individual mandate is the only known mechanism that can allow insurance companies to compete for business under a premise that everyone will have access to health care; it guarantees that everyone will share the risk of a few costly patients.
The alternative is a single-payer program. If you don't understand this, you sholdn't be writing about health care. Should Americans support healthcare for all, and most seem to, you can achieve that through a mandate or you can achieve it through single payer. Be intellectually honest, Jennifer.

Posted by: clarkhull | January 31, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Erwin Chemerinsky's comment goes to the heart of the matter:

"If Congress wanted to, it could have increased everyone’s taxes and funded health care for all."

That's right Mr. Chemerinsky: they could have proposed increasing everyone's taxes, but they didn't because they knew the entire bill would have failed for sure had they done so. Instead, they attempted to deceive voters as to the costs and consequences of this malignant legislation, which is exactly why it should be struck down by the Supreme Court.

Posted by: thomas777 | January 31, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I left health care reform behind and never post on it because frankly I wouldn't know what I was talking about (but unlike many posters I realize what I don't know). LOL

Ezra Klein has an interesting take on the decision though. Since the judge threw out the whole legislation, does the following happen as of now:

"That means the small businesses that are getting tax credits to buy their employees health-care insurance will stop getting those tax credits. It means young adults who went back on their parent's health-care plan after the law allowed kids up to age 26 to qualify as dependents might be kicked back off. It means the rebate checks being sent out to seniors in the Medicare donut hole will stop. It means insurance plans will no longer have to cover preventive care or be barred from rescinding coverage."

Also are those who now have coverage of a pre-existing condition, going to have that part of their coverage revoked?

The easiest way to stop the above would be for the judge to stay implementation of his ruling until the appeal is heard.

Who knows what he will actually do?

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | January 31, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Best legal analysis I've read.

The severability argument STRENGTHENED by the Democratic-controlled Congress and Administration's prior actions.

No wonder the Left is stunned : )

Posted by: pvilso24 | January 31, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

I laughed when I read the judges decision; he said something to the effect of "if this was constitutional, they could mandate eating broccoli"

good decision! now let our supreme court back the will of the people and uphold the constitution.

Posted by: JBfromFL | January 31, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse

In fact, the implementation of Obamacare will raise costs for well over 100 million Americans and limit the quality and functional access to care to a still greater number. Most of these Americans will realize, the massive propaganda barrage from the MSM and the tax-subsidized notwithstanding, that their costs have gone up and the quality of care has gone down and the Democratic party will, appropriately, be punished for generations. They, as well as the Americans threatened by its horrors will benefit tremendously from Obamacare's demise.

Posted by: cavalier4 | January 31, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Why the Dems removed the severability clause is very interesting. It would have put Republican opposition in quite a bind considering the mandate is what drew most of the ire. Litigation would have risked severing the mandate to the detriment of health insurance companies. With this ultra-conservative Supreme Court not afraid to reverse-engineer its decisions, the Democrats had to know removing the severability clause would doom the legislation. The insurance companies must be ROFL at us.

Posted by: sandawgz | January 31, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I doubt the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, which would be greatly enriched by the legislation, were prepared for the ruling either. It was their lobbyists who got the thing passed in the first place.
Sterling Greenwood/AspenFreePress

Posted by: AspenFreePress | January 31, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

"With this ultra-conservative Supreme Court not "

the ultra-conservative umpires in baseball bother me too.

Posted by: engdre | January 31, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

"ruled unconstitutional"

So republicans complain every day about judges legislating from the bench and lo and behold what does a judge do in their favor? Legislate from the bench.

He's wrong though and this tactic won't work.

Posted by: mcp123 | January 31, 2011 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Individuals who choose to go without health insurance are actively making an economic decision that impacts all of us. People who make an economic decision to forego health insurance do not opt out of the health care market. As Congress found, every year millions of people without insurance obtain health care they cannot pay for, shifting tens of billions of dollars in added cost onto those who have insurance and onto taxpayers. There can be no doubt that this activity substantially affects interstate commerce, and Congress has the power to regulate it.
The Affordable Care Act, through the individual responsibility requirement, will require everyone, if they can afford it, to carry some form of health insurance since everyone at some point in time participates in the health care system, and incur costs that must be paid for. For the 83% of Americans who have coverage and who are already taking responsibility for their health care, their insurance premiums will decrease over time. Many of those who are currently struggling to pay for insurance will get a new tax credit. Only those who are able to pay for health insurance will be responsible for obtaining it. Because most people would voluntarily purchase coverage as it becomes more affordable and the policy exempts those for whom purchase would cause a financial hardship, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that only 1 percent of all Americans would pay a penalty for not having health insurance in 2016.
The Affordable Care Act also bans insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions. However, unless every American is required to have insurance, it would be cost prohibitive to cover people with pre-existing conditions.

Posted by: truthseeker13 | January 31, 2011 9:05 PM | Report abuse

All of this is just a consequence of voting into law a bill that never enjoyed majority or bipartisan support ... you can spin it any way you want but people are going to find a way to vote with their feet ... you are seeing it with the high risk pools ... you have seen it with the November elections ... you have seen it with the House repeal vote ... and you have seen it now with a majority of sovereign states filing suit in federal court to overturn ... I don't care what political persuasion you aspire to but if you have a piece of legislation this unpopular and still insist that it apply to all as the law of the land you are allowing yourself to be blinded by said ideology and do so at your own further political peril ... this law will not stand in the long term because too many in the country are opposed to it and will use every measure of democracy at their disposal to remove or circumvent it ... that is just a basic fact of our democracy ... thank the Founders they did it right ...

Posted by: cunn9305 | January 31, 2011 9:05 PM | Report abuse

"So republicans complain every day about judges legislating from the bench and lo and behold what does a judge do in their favor? Legislate from the bench."

yo idiot. the judge said this pos stinks constitutionally. try again. god you leftoids are the stupid.

Posted by: engdre | January 31, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

"Individuals who choose to go without health insurance are actively making an economic decision that impacts all of us."

prove it!!11!!

Posted by: engdre | January 31, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Jen the peck : stop your yammering as you possess neither the brains nor the balls of a gnat

OOPS

my apologies to the gnat kingdom

Posted by: neec13 | January 31, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse

When I voted for Obama in 2008, I did not know that he was going to flip-flop on his campaign promises and force Hillary Care with its motherly mandates on me and the rest of the citizens. I cannot believe Obama has thrust Hillary Care on us!

Tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires (Healthcare Insurance CEOs, the bankster criminals and yes, overpaid DOCTORS!) as the middle-class is FORCED to pay $500-$1,000 a month to support the uber-wealthy DOCTORS and HEALTHCARE CEOs. Gimme a break Obama!

Posted by: HopeChange2008 | January 31, 2011 9:36 PM | Report abuse

"Liberals are particularly perturbed by Judge Vinson's ruling on severability, the determination as to whether the individual mandate is so central to the law as to make the law unrecognizable and unenforceable without it."

Oh no. The liberals like me are glad to see somebody making a credible argument for eliminating this unconstitutional mandate.

Posted by: HopeChange2008 | January 31, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Why nobody is asking what would happen to the "too big to fail health insurance companies" if people opted NOT TO BUY health insurance is a mystery to me. Health insurers don't value their customers because too many middle-men are meddling for their own respective pieces of the pie. Take out the middle-men (insurers and employers) and let the health insurance companies COMPETE for our business by providing services at REASONABLE costs. Otherwise, let them fail for not knowing how a capitalistic market works and get out of the way of single-payer provided by the non-profit government for the people!

Posted by: HopeChange2008 | January 31, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

At 5:36 into this video Richard Epstein (UChicagoLaw colleague of Obama) calls the legal challenge to ObamaCare better than what had been thought. Note that the interview occurred before today’s court ruling.
http://www.reason.tv/video/show/1449.html

What precedes this is useful in that it underscores the weakness of liberal opinion and its current standard bearer: (Begin excerpt)

Epstein: The difference between them [Bush and Obama], which is why Obama is the more dangerous man ultimately, is he has very little by way of a skill set to understand the complex problems he wants to address, but he has this unbounded confidence in himself.

Reason: So he’s the perfect Chicago faculty member.

Epstein: He was actually a bad Chicago faculty member in this sense: He was an adjunct, and we always hoped he’d participate in the general intellectual discourse, but he was always so busy with collateral adventures that he essentially kept to himself. The problem when you keep to yourself is you don’t get to hear strong ideas articulated by people who disagree with you. So he passed through Chicago without absorbing much of the internal culture. (End excerpt.)

The hostess of this blog is accustomed to the rough-and-tumble world of exchanging ideas. It’s really unfortunate that few on the other side are so well equipped.

Posted by: SCMike1 | January 31, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

If you didn't have to spend $500-$1,000 a month on health insurance to line the CEOs pockets, how could you use the same money to stimulate the economy? Here are some suggestions:

(1) send a kid to college (perhaps your own)
(2) buy an automobile made in the USA
(3) purchase a distressed/foreclosed home
(4) help a neighbor that lost his job
(5) take a vacation (helps hotels, airlines, tourism)

Please feel free to add to the list!

Posted by: HopeChange2008 | January 31, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

(6) Save money in a bank (this would have prevented the bailouts, yes?)

Please feel free to add to the list.

Posted by: HopeChange2008 | January 31, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

(7) Pay off your debts

Please feel free to add to the list.

Posted by: HopeChange2008 | January 31, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse

(8) Hire a part-time employee.

Please feel free to add to the list.

Posted by: HopeChange2008 | January 31, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer didn't make Ezra Klein appear stupid, he did that all by his little old self, primarily by venturing into an area that he knows nothing about (constitutional law). He just stick to posting graphs and restaurant reviews.

For a very good legal analysis of Judge Vinson's decision, see http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/01/028256.php

Posted by: WashingtonDame | January 31, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

(9) Rather than supporting a faceless insurer, support a local business -- restaurants, clothiers, hardware stores, corner stores, landscapers, electricians, etc.

Please feel free to add to the list.

Posted by: HopeChange2008 | January 31, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

(10) Invest in American businesses that don't off-shore or in-shore.

Please feel free to add to the list.

Posted by: HopeChange2008 | January 31, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

"Liberals are particularly perturbed by Judge Vinson's ruling on severability, the determination as to whether the individual mandate is so central to the law as to make the law unrecognizable and unenforceable without it."

Only the hopey-changey groupies. Intelligent liberals know that the entire unreadable (and unread) edifice of the law rests on the precept that Congress can make us buy a significant amount of the health insurance co.'s product. Without it, the whole industry will degenerate into chaos and be obliterated. Feel-good laws, like the one that abolishes the eeeevil practice of refusing to cover conditions contracted before enrolling with the the insurance co, have a price. You can't just tell people to operate their insurance co. at a loss for the good of their fellow man, then sit back and watch them work. The Individual Mandate was the price.

To root for the judges to keep the rest of the law, even if the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional, is nothing but spite and partisan point-scoring at the expense of destitution and societal breakdown.

Posted by: getjiggly2 | January 31, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I do not think the author knows what the word "liberal" means, nor does she grasp from whence the insurance mandate arrived on the national scene.

The mandate is a right-wing idea which was first put into effect on the state level by Republican Mitt Romney.

Health Reform is not a "liberal" law. It's a pro-corporate law which drives up profits for the insurance industry at the mandatory expense of citizens.

"Liberals" have an entirely different suite of solutions in mind, usually starting with an expansion of Medicare to cover all citizens at a basic level of service, with for-profit corporations operating in an aftermarket for premium service. We'd save a lot of money doing it that way; Medicare's overhead is less than 2%, compared to up to 30% or more for private corporations (although slightly restricted under the reform law, but with generous loopholes).

But liberal ideas were off the table from the start. Almost nobody in either party wants to offend corporations, which are their main source of campaign funding.

What we're doing now is quibbling over how to implement right-wing pro-corporate ideas.

The wailing and gnashing of teeth you hear is coming from corporatists, not liberals. The liberal viewpoint is that we got reform terribly, terribly wrong. We have no stake at all in continuing down this road, which diminishes citizen rights and advances corporate power over the rest of us.

Liberals believe that much of health care belongs in a commons, from which all citizens can obtain basic services at much lower cost than they could ever obtain from for-profit corporations. The editors at the Post should understand this, even if the author does not. There can be no excuse for this unresearched article which attributes the mandate to "liberals." It ain't so.

Posted by: Urgelt | January 31, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

The hostess of this blog is accustomed to the rough-and-tumble world of exchanging ideas. It’s really unfortunate that few on the other side are so well equipped.

Posted by: SCMike1
---------------------
Well put. Conservatives, being under-represented among our elite opinion-makers, are thoroughly familiar with progressive ideology and understand its shortcomings. Liberals, being unfamiliar with conservative thought, as opposed to its caricatures by liberals, really have no answers other than to sputter insults and to try to silence conservative speakers.

Posted by: eoniii | January 31, 2011 10:16 PM | Report abuse

HopeChange2008 -

Right now most states dictate minimum coverage. Health insurance costs more in New Joisey than in Pennsylvania because the former requires more coverage than the latter does. (That NJ providers may charge more is also an issue, but we’ll leave that aside for the moment.)

Allowing the purchase of policies across state lines is a minimally-informed solution to this ‘one-size-fits-all” approach. But before we look at a better solution, consider the idiocy of this approach. A single guy 18 – 24 does not need pregnancy, prostate, cardiac, or lots of other coverage that females or oldsters would. A 55+ couple does not need pregnancy, abortion, or other coverage that a young couple might. I will never seek insurance reimbursement for chiropractor, acupuncture, or aroma therapy, so why should I or others pay for a policy that offers coverage that we don’t want or need?

To counter the mandates of states, a federal policy requiring insurers to offer a, and I hesitate to use this term out of fear of being labeled “racially insensitive”, a Chinese menu of coverage where one can select the coverage one truly needs? Better yet is the MSA/HSA approach wherein one (and one’s employer) sets aside before-tax funds for normal care and then purchases catastrophic coverage for the cancer, cardiac, and other high-cost procedures that are of lower probability (for most folks).

I’ve run the numbers on dental care for years and conclude that I am bucks ahead in not spending a cent on insurance but paying my and my wife’s way, even though (especially because?) she’s the one that gets the crowns. The only reason I don’t go bareback is because of the employer contribution.

I will (and have) shop dental for prices and service. Such is harder to do with emergency medical, but with a catastrophic policy from a savvy insurer, that should be possible. Folks are going to India, Thailand, Costa Rica, and the Czech Republic for serious procedures, and I’d enjoy a Pilsner Urquell or two during recovery myself.

Posted by: SCMike1 | January 31, 2011 10:17 PM | Report abuse

@truthseeker13 | January 31, 2011 9:05 PM

"As Congress found, every year millions of people without insurance obtain health care they cannot pay for, shifting tens of billions of dollars in added cost onto those who have insurance and onto taxpayers."

This is entrapment and extortion. It is no different from a protection racket.

The solution is to end the requirement that the taxpayer pick up the tab for the "millions" of indigent medical care consumers, not a mandate that the taxpayer buy insurance for them, too.

Posted by: TrollFeeder | January 31, 2011 10:21 PM | Report abuse

"Liberals believe that much of health care belongs in a commons"

are public toilets "clean"?

Posted by: engdre | January 31, 2011 10:22 PM | Report abuse

It's not kind, Miss Rubin, to knock Jr. High Schoolers such as Ezra Klein upside the head, even when they do try constitutional analysis. Little Exra was just trying to express his individuality, after all.

Posted by: kryon77 | January 31, 2011 10:31 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if this judge has any investments in the medical industry? My guess is he does!

Posted by: inewsmaster | January 31, 2011 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Urgelt –

Calling the insurance mandate a right-wing idea is nonsense; it’s more of a fascist (liberal) approach if anything. Long before RomneyCare conservatives got a true right-wing notion, medical savings accounts / health savings accounts, into federal law. The MSA/HSA allows individuals, primarily small bidnesses that don’t have / can’t afford standard health insurance policies, to divert pre-tax money into a self-directed account for medical expenses. (A limited variation on this is the flexible medical spending account available to folks whose employers provide partially-paid comprehensive policies of one sort or another.) The only catch is that MSA/HSA have to purchase a catastrophic medical expense policy.

The result is to produce smart shoppers who bargain for the prices and quality of medical procedures, and some providers are quite responsive to their queries. There are still minefields. In some areas insurance companies -- even non-profits like the Blues -- are able to require their PPO providers to charge higher prices to the non-insured, but some states and savvy specialists have successfully fought this trend.

Note that liberals have generally done their durndest to limit this sort of freedom of choice. Even one of the ObamaCare provisions that went into effect this year limited what the flexible medical spending accounts could pay for, removing non-prescription drugs from reimbursement. It’s the individuals own money, for goodness sakes! Tax-free, but, durn it, it’s their own money!

Posted by: SCMike1 | January 31, 2011 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Ezra never allows ignorance to make him think twice about his opinions.

Never.

Posted by: drjohn3 | January 31, 2011 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein is a non-entity.
He doesn'e even deserve the attention as an example of Leftist stupidity.

Posted by: MartinChuzzlewit | January 31, 2011 10:55 PM | Report abuse

WashingtonDame is entirely correct. In fact, for an honest but truly brutal assessment of the young Klein’s ignorant scribbling, go here if you dare:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/01/028256.php

But why let facts mar an otherwise inscrutable rant?

Posted by: SCMike1 | January 31, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I was about to link to the Powerline blog's evisceration of poor, ignorant Ezra Klein playing constitutional scholar, but I see it's been done. Here is their final cut:

There is, obviously, considerable humor value in seeing a kid who is on record as believing that the Constitution is too "confusing" to be understood, since it is more than 100 years old, trying to critique the constitutional analysis of a federal judge with almost 40 years of experience as a lawyer and 27 years as a judge. But is the Washington Post really in the business of providing its readers with that sort of amusement?

Posted by: eoniii | January 31, 2011 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Poor Obama, restrained by that pesky Constitution again.

If only he could dictate the law free of lesser minds, free of antique concepts like limited government, utopia would be within his mighty grasp.

After all, he knows so much and has accomplished so much prior to his being President.

Thank God for the wisdom of the founders and those judges who understand that power is a dangerous thing, best kept from ideologues who seek utopia through increased power over the people.

Posted by: RSweeney1 | January 31, 2011 11:29 PM | Report abuse

@SCMike1

"A single guy 18 – 24 does not need pregnancy, prostate, cardiac, or lots of other coverage that females or oldsters would. A 55+ couple does not need pregnancy, abortion, or other coverage that a young couple might. I will never seek insurance reimbursement for chiropractor, acupuncture, or aroma therapy, so why should I or others pay for a policy that offers coverage that we don’t want or need? To counter the mandates of states, a federal policy requiring insurers to offer a, and I hesitate to use this term out of fear of being labeled “racially insensitive”, a Chinese menu of coverage where one can select the coverage one truly needs?"

Thank you, but I don't prescribe to the Chinese menu. The U.S. needs to come up with a standard healthcare package. If that means one or two dental visits a year, a mammo, a prostate and blood pressure check, so be it and let the cost of basic healthcare reflect that. For those that get sicker and require hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in treatments, remind them that life is not for sale to the highest bidding witch-doctor of America, nor from a cheap flight to India where the price is always "right".

Healthy people cannot be FORCED to pay for unhealthy people although most of us would gladly help out our neighbors in extraordinary medical situations. Unhealthy people really need to understand that from inception, we are all destined to die, healthy and unhealthy equally.

The insurance racket preys on people that cannot accept that they will some day die and force people in their prime to subsidize those that prey on the modern-day witch-doctors that tell sickly and elderly people that given the "magic pill" they will live close to forever.

Longevity usually comes with healthy lifestyles. Healthy lifestyles are best achieved by improving the economic status of the person.

Longevity cannot be achieved by forcing oneself further into the poor-house just because the wealthy say the magic pill will do so.

Like you, I have paid for med visits and dental visits out-of-pocket without help from the insurer. I have med/dental insurance forced out of my paycheck, but my employer's plan will deny all benefits and create a hassle because they don't see me as the customer. They see my employer as the customer instead as they take my money which is automatically deducted from my pay.

The other side of not having consumers control what they buy by way of health insurance is that you are forced by the doctors to sign forms that say that the YOU, AND YOU ALONE, are on the hook for paying their overpriced fees for service/non-service. When you refuse or refute/dispute their services, your job is put in jeapardy because YOUR CAREGIVER/DOCTOR reports you to the credit bureau as a deadbeat. This happens while your employer-paid health insurer ignores any correspondence from you, the so-called customer unless it escalates to the your employer who writes the checks to the insurer.

Posted by: HopeChange2008 | January 31, 2011 11:29 PM | Report abuse

"There is one person in the United States who will decide on this law, and that's Anthony Kennedy," Seidman said. "He's not going to be unduly influenced by what a district judge in Florida says. All of this is just scrimmaging."

Gee, didn't I comment the other day that one person will decide Obamacare (namely Anthony Kennedy) -- Seidman is such a plagiarizing copycat. Can I be a law professor or columnist? I got to eat too!

Posted by: aardunza | January 31, 2011 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I coulda been a contender, instead of a bum which is what I am -- face it Jenny, I'm a bum -- (as well as a plagiarist)

Posted by: aardunza | January 31, 2011 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh, please. The possibility that a conservative judge would rule on constitutional issues never occurred to Democrat. Were you able to even write that sentence without cracking up?

I would also note that claims that the "Left" has no reverence for the constitution are ridiculous bordering on offensive. Conservatives seemed to have no problem trampling over individuals' rights all the while proclaiming their reverence to the high heavens.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 1, 2011 12:00 AM | Report abuse

HopeChange2008

I think you misunderstand me, but I may have been as clear as mud in covering the ground.

I argue not for mandates at all, support HSA/MSA only as an alternative, and favor that folks be allowed to choose what coverage, if any, they desire. My point of the federal mandate of a “Chinese menu” is on insurers within all states to simply to allow residents of any state the opportunity to avoid state mandates and allow employers to offer health insurance coverage as a blanket amount for folks to choose from a list of procedures, go the HSA/MSA route, or forego coverage completely. There are folks who do want to go bareback, and they should be allowed to do so.

I do go to Wal-Mart weekly and see fellow shoppers whose treatment will be expensive and who are likely not purchasers of insurance. The remedy is clearly for providers to band together and sue these folks and take all assets to recover costs so as to eventually telegraph the notion that one is responsible for one’s health. Why can’t a provider put an ankle bracelet on each recipient of care who has no visible means of support or ability to pay? If I’m found on a sidewalk suffering from some injury or illness without an insurance card or other means of reimbursement to the providers, should I not have an ankle bracelet or some method short of a tattoo across my forehead so designating me for future attention by creditors? I think so!

Posted by: SCMike1 | February 1, 2011 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Tom Vilsac announced today that farming Americans must stop eating so many processed foods and must eat instead more fruits and vegetables (including but not necessarily broccoli, (the GHWB exemption))in order to be eligible for government aid under the Freedom to Farm Act. The corn's already been set aside for ethanol production, and besides, it's bad for their dentures anyway. Have you seen the bridge, where's that confounded bridge...?
Wow, either a bad dream or another of those acid flashbacks they keep promising
sorry, Uncle HST, RIP

Posted by: aardunza | February 1, 2011 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Are doctors overpaid and by how much? Feel free to comment HopeChange2008

Posted by: aardunza | February 1, 2011 12:26 AM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade -

Your edge needs the application of a whetstone. Your assertion that “claims that the ‘Left’ has no reverence for the constitution are ridiculous bordering on offensive" is proven suspect by remarks, alluded to above, by the WaPo’s own Ezra Klein who recently said the following:

"The issue of the Constitution is that the text is confusing because it was written more than 100 years ago and what people believe it says differs from person to person and differs depending on what they want to get done."

No need to believe what you read, you can view his remarks here: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2010/12/30/wash-posts-ezra-klein-laments-confusing-nature-old-constitution

Nice try, no cigar… In the future, please do ensure that you are properly armed before engaging in a battle of wits.

Posted by: SCMike1 | February 1, 2011 12:26 AM | Report abuse

It's still a somewhat free country -- neocon bums can comment on this website as well as the rest of you rich people

Posted by: aardunza | February 1, 2011 12:56 AM | Report abuse

That's funny -- never mind!

Posted by: aardunza | February 1, 2011 1:16 AM | Report abuse

"The individual mandate is the only known mechanism that can allow insurance companies to compete for business under a premise that everyone will have access to health care; it guarantees that everyone will share the risk of a few costly patients.
The alternative is a single-payer program. "

Says who? How about leaving everything alone as it was before St. Obama came to power?

Why ruin it for the 250 million Americans who are satisfied with their health insurance? Deal with the 50 million uninsured separately.

Posted by: TheLastBrainLeft | February 1, 2011 1:37 AM | Report abuse

People who practice journolistism would do well not to aspire to parse legal documents. I don't know what the end result will be, but I agree with the Judge Vinson that allowing this law to stand would mean the end of limited government and hence the Constitution our leaders are all sworn to defend and uphold. The fact we have allowed legal fictions to evade and twist the principles of our most fundamental laws is not to our credit. If we don't stand and drive back this attempt now, we will all be working for the government, because whatever it orders us to do it will be empowered by this precedent to make us do "for our own good."

Posted by: athorpe | February 1, 2011 1:49 AM | Report abuse


There can be a difference between what you and a health insurance company consider healthy. Some insurers will say that you have a health condition if you smoke, are overweight, are taking prescriptions, or had a medical condition in the past. If this describes you, you may want to search and read “Wise Health Insurance” on the web.

Posted by: jamesolney | February 1, 2011 3:52 AM | Report abuse

Obama claims we can solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house.

Obama proposes we end starvation and famine by mandating everybody to buy food.

Posted by: panola60 | February 1, 2011 4:04 AM | Report abuse

SCMike1, you've been listening to Rush Limbaugh a little too much. Fascism has nothing to do with liberal/progressive politics in the United States.

It's easy to understand how Limbaugh became confused about this. Hitler and his propagandists employed a deceptive political tactic: by naming their party "National Socialists," they were able to fool a good part of the German electorate into thinking the Nazis were liberal. They weren't. The Nazis had no socialist agenda at all for their citizens. Instead, they implemented a war economy, invested in their military establishment, cut red tape for corporations, and began a pogram against anyone who even *might* be disloyal. There was no free speech. There was no social safety net. There was no empathy. No liberal in his right mind wants anything to do with Nazism.

I'm going to resist the urge to characterize the Nazis as right-wing. What they really were was arrogant, angry, murderously intolerant and greedy for absolute control over their own citizens and the citizens of the rest of the world. We do not need to get into a food fight over where on our own political spectrum they fit; they don't fit anywhere.

Which is why throwing around Nazi accusations today is senselessly divisive. We're Americans. None of us, except for a few fringers sporting tattoos and nose rings, wants to go down the Nazi road. Let's respect that, and respect each other.

I don't mind if you disagree with my political solutions. I'm even interested in your arguments. But let's leave mud-slinging out of it. It poisons our democratic discourse and makes consensus damnably difficult to achieve.

We need a consensus on health care. If we don't get a handle on it, costs are going to continue to outpace inflation. More and more citizens will be left out in the cold to fend for themselves - even children. Deaths from lack of health care will rise. If we do not aspire to become a third-world country wherein only the wealthy elites can obtain health care services, we must come to grips with this problem.

But though I believe we need a solution, I pretty much agree with you that "Obamacare" isn't the solution we need. I detest the individual mandate as much as you do; I'd be delighted if the courts find it to be unconstitutional. It's a horrible solution.

It's a horrible solution that did not originate among liberals, however. It originated within the insurance industry and its lobbyists, who saw in it an opportunity to expand profits. The idea was promoted to the public first by right-wing politicians, not out of allegiance to ideology, but out of pragmatism. That's where politicians get their campaign contributions. And that's why so many Democrats, including the President, signed up, too.

If the right wing wants to disown the individual mandate now, that's fine with me. But don't blame liberals for it. Our solutions were taken off the table right at the start of health care reform.

Posted by: Urgelt | February 1, 2011 4:57 AM | Report abuse

To Hopeandchange2008,
Go to medical school if you think doctors are overpaid - or go to business school if you are envious of executive income. It sounds like you don't think you should pay anything for healthcare. My assumption then is you are in favor of government run single payer healthcare akin to the VA or medicare financed by the progressive tax code. So in essence you desire those with higher incomes (who you so despise) to provide your healthcare at no cost to you. Juvenile but understandable. The problem with establishing a monopoly is that with a fixed budget the casualty is quality (extended waiting period, services that are not available) and that concept is seen in Canada, our VA system and now increasingly in physicians refusal to accept Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement. Our system is broken due to cost benefit - our culture expects perfection, expediency and the ability to be made whole if that doesn't occur and that doesn't come cheap. Mandating that we all overpay for a broken system may not be the most intelligent solution but it does seem to provoke leftists that are used to not paying for services and criticizing those who do. Cutting the cost of healthcare would be pretty simple. Change malpractice to emulate vaccine courts and have the federal government assume responsibility financially which would compensate patients more quickly and identify the small percentage of providers responsible and remove them from the roles, profile physicians for their average expense/diagnosis and investigate outliers to eliminate fraud or re-educate poor practice, open insurance across state lines and allow for line item selection of coverage like automobile insurance, establish a maximal policy fee for those with pre-existing conditions and subsidize that fee for those in financial need and require insurers to equally share that pool and finally limit useless care by reasoned discussion with patients and family at the end of life. With just those steps you could easily be left with $1000/month to give to overpaid professors and hoteliers, pay your unemployed neighbor to cut your lawn and then purchase his foreclosed house, buy a Honda made in Tennessee, pay off credit card debt and still sock some money away in the bank.

Posted by: billthebeast | February 1, 2011 6:26 AM | Report abuse

This poster nailed it, so I'd like to bump this comment up:

"All of this is just a consequence of voting into law a bill that never enjoyed majority or bipartisan support ... you can spin it any way you want but people are going to find a way to vote with their feet ... you are seeing it with the high risk pools ... you have seen it with the November elections ... you have seen it with the House repeal vote ... and you have seen it now with a majority of sovereign states filing suit in federal court to overturn ... I don't care what political persuasion you aspire to but if you have a piece of legislation this unpopular and still insist that it apply to all as the law of the land you are allowing yourself to be blinded by said ideology and do so at your own further political peril ... this law will not stand in the long term because too many in the country are opposed to it and will use every measure of democracy at their disposal to remove or circumvent it ... that is just a basic fact of our democracy ... thank the Founders they did it right.

Posted by: cunn9305"

Posted by: dandean | February 1, 2011 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Of course the Left is unprepared! They thought that through Obama healthCONTROL they had a boot on our throats to control us with!

At least there is a judge who still respects the Contitution! It's obvious that Obama does not!

Now when this mess hits the Supreme Court, will at least two Obama appointees recuse themselves? We'll see.

In the meantime, the question remains: what can we expect from a Kenyan Born, Anti-American, Anti-Constitution, Muslim who along with his wife, hate America?

Posted by: TexRancher | February 1, 2011 7:15 AM | Report abuse

When you Conservative folks are dying, years from now; slowly, painfully, and very expensively, and bankrupting your families doing so, then you might rue this moment. The winners are the insurance companies, the hospitals, and the doctors, who will gleefully taker every cent you have. The losers are the public.

Posted by: samsara15 | February 1, 2011 7:50 AM | Report abuse

truthseeker13 wrote:
Individuals who choose to go without health insurance are actively making an economic decision that impacts all of us. People who make an economic decision to forego health insurance do not opt out of the health care market.
-------------------------------------
So, if I choose not to buy a car, does that mean I am affecting the automobile market? Of course I am. However, that does not mean that Congress can make me buy a car to help out with the greater good. I understand the arguement for the individual mandate, but you cannot regulate economic inaction. Those of you who support the mandate are blind to the slippery slope it creates. If it is declared constitutional, there is nothing Congress cannot do.

Let us say that the bottom falls out of the pork market. Congress decides, "We need to save America's hog farmers!" So, they pass a law mandating that everyone buy 2 pounds of pork every week. I know what you are thinking, that is insane. However, if they were to do that, someone would challenge it in court. "They can't make me buy pork!" the plantiff says. But the judge looks at precedent, and precedent says that Congress can make you buy stuff that you don't want to buy if it is for the greater good. What you fail to see is, if this law is declared constitutional, Congress gets to decide what the greater good is. You may happen to like this greater good, but what happens the next time when it is something you don't like?

Posted by: mathewcarson1975 | February 1, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Urgelt – I owe my notion of fascism to Jonah Goldberg’s book “Liberal Fascism” and recommend it highly. Goldberg took the term “liberal fascism” from a speech made by author H. G. Wells when he told a group of Young Liberals at Oxford that Progressives must become “liberal fascists” and “enlightened Nazis.” Just wanted to clarify.

I look upon the individual mandate as nothing more than a way to collect more funds from folks who don’t need health insurance, in other words income redistribution. If we cut out insurance companies and went to a single-payer system, each citizen would still have to pay some amount to spread the costs of medical care around although in that case it could be hidden in taxes.

The mindset of most folks is that they need to have some sort of comprehensive insurance coverage. They and we would be better off with catastrophic coverage (what we used to call major medical) so that they have to pay for the routine medical exams and procedures. They would become savvy shoppers and healthcare providers could focus on innovative ways of providing their care.

Posted by: SCMike1 | February 1, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein is not a lawyer; he is, however, an idiot. If Ezra Klein is the best defense the left has, this bill is history. This would be a huge victory for liberty in this country. Americans have had enough of the social engineering disasters wrought by the left (Great Society, etc.). We don't need, and certainly cannot afford, another one.

Posted by: petmal1212 | February 1, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Urgelt, it is "liberals" themselves who no longer know what the word means. It used to stand for those who believed in the primacy of individual liberty. Today's pretenders, however, believe in collectivism, and federal mandates, something classic Liberals would find anathema.

Also, RomneyCare was a state solution, not a federal one, and therefore NOT prohibited by the Constitution, even if it was a stupid policy. That's the primary difference.

And finally, I agree we should be careful with rhetoric, but it is also true that until the Holocaust, even the Nazis, who manipulated people to gain power, weren't "Nazis." Many Burgers professed never to have known what the Nazis were doing while in power. Edmund Burke noted that Americans are sensitive to wrongs that could occur, rather than only those which have occurred, and I for one would rather stop dangerous statist movements before they have a grip on our society, rather than have to rebel afterwards.

Posted by: INTJ | February 1, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Only a fool would support the huge transfer of power from the idividual to the federal government that this law does. Is it unconstitutional? Hell yes. Anyone who can read can understand that the Constitution was created to specificly ban the federal government from certain actions. The commerce clause, the most preverted and abused clause in the document, was emphaticly not intended to allow government to declare control over anything and everything it desires. This "perversion" called a healthcare law sets the precident for government to force us to buy and do anything it desires. You say that won't happen? It most certainly will and history proves it. Once government is allowed by the courts to create or do some function or action it invariably expands that action and creates more of them. The income tax is the perfect example. When passed it was simple and stright foward, you make this much, you pay this much. Over the years though it has morphed into a command and control mechinisiam, a carrot and a stick. Do such and such and you get to keep some of your own money. Don't do such and such and we will take that money from you. If in the 1920's when the income tax amendment was passed, if would have been written into that amendment a discription of the gestapo orgnization the IRS has become, there's no way in hell it would have passed.

The bottom line is government cannot be trusted. It is a necessary evil. A socity cannot survive without some form of government but to trust it is to lose your freedom and risk enslavement to it.

Posted by: MikeM17 | February 1, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

MikeSC1 wrote "I look upon the individual mandate as nothing more than a way to collect more funds from folks who don’t need health insurance..."

Mike, there are no folks who don't need health insurance. You're beginning with a false premise.

And taking what Goldberg wrote and using it as reason to throw around the word fascism when talking about liberals... is childish. And you know it. Goldberg sold some books but advanced political discourse not a whit.

Posted by: InterestedObserver2 | February 1, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Judge Vinson. While many of the aspirations of the health care act are individually laudable, the financing plan was always a house of cards. Putting aside the individual mandate, the penalty caps were so low that they served as a disincentive for the purchase of insurance (especially for the poor and middle class). Coupled with a requirement for the coverage of all pre-existing conditions, the act made the purchase of health insurance an economic activity that many would likely only engage in after they became ill or sustained a serious accident. That would have been a clearly unsustainable situation.

A second point so far not raised by the punditry is that, even if a higher court should decide that the individual mandate does not clearly violate the commerce clause, there would still be hanging out there the question as to whether the expansion of the clause to cover passive economic activity is warranted in the absence of evidence that Congress had already expended all other avenues afforded to it to meet the same end. That is, should the vaguely worded commerce clause be forever expanded rather than just requiring Congress to attempt to meet the same funding goal through powers already afforded the to it? Such a ruling would force Congress to face up to the more transparent responsibility of raising taxes to pay for the overall restructuring of the health care system versus forcing change through a power grab. (And then good luck with that).

Posted by: dmdmd | February 1, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I just wonder why so many Americans want to have this giant profit driven corporation in between their health care dollars and their health care.

Posted by: InterestedObserver2 | February 1, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Smart....
The Correct Decision.....
Hello Justice Kennedy....

Posted by: Mebakdr | February 1, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

1 Nov 2010
Folks,
Obama’s GAME (Great American Marxist Experiment) is over, a failure. Marxism goes against the basic human instincts that freedom is a natural, God-given right, that what you make (or earn) is yours to keep, that family, not government, is the basic social unit. Democrats have historically been the party to raise taxes and increase the size of government, but Obama, Reid, and Pelosi have taken these mistaken policies to the extreme. Republicans, Independents, and Tea Party members will now be forever vigilant of the Left and we will vote.
Tom Johnson, Largo, Florida

PS 19 Jan 2011
Obamacare is illegal. The original, very short, Commerce Clause is too loosely interpreted. Obamacare will NOT reduce total US health care costs by bringing an additional 30-50,000,000 people into the health care system, especially without tort reform. Democrats do NOT believe in the US Constitution as the supreme law of the land.
1. Federal health care is not one of the enumerated powers in the US Constitution, therefore, Obamacare is illegal. This only matters if you believe that the USA is a nation of laws and that the US Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It is clear that Democrats do NOT believe in the US Constitution. Obama supposedly taught US Constitutional law for 12 years, so he must understand the US Constitution. Since health care, as he signed it into law, is illegal, the only conclusion left is that Obama, and the Democrats who voted for health care, do not believe in the US Constitution.
2. The commerce clause was never intended to have such broad scope. These powers have been made up by the Democrats out of thin air.

Posted by: drtom312 | February 1, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

That's what you get when you get the Nancy Pelosi approach to writing legislation ("You'll have to vote for it, to see what's in it.")

Plus, as Mark Levin correctly noted on his show, the government has no remedy other than appeal, and until then, they must cease and desist on efforts to implement the legislation. If the administration persists, then "contempt of court" is in order.

H-m-m-m-m, let's see how far the legislation will get even if it goes to the SCOTUS with a ruling based on the commerce clause with a court that is such "friends" with Obama. How do you spell "T-O-A-S-T."

Posted by: Husker78 | February 1, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Go Jennifer! Excellent analysis. Loved the comment about liberals "vamping" over the ruling. Jennifer Rubin, best young conservative voice in the MSM. What a positive development over the tried and true, worn out and vapid tribunes of the left: Dionne, Robninson and Meyerson. And lets not forget the intellectually challenged journolist Ezra Klein who's headline yesterday read that Obamacare was ruled unconstitutional by a Republican judge. Funny, I don't remember Ezra headling the fact that the first two judges who upheld the law were Democrats. Then again how can you expect integrity from a Journolist.

Posted by: jkk1943 | February 1, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

The Congress was fully aware of this. A true Single Payer system was their openly stated goal all along, and ObamaCare was promoted as a "weigh station" to fully socialized medicine - single payer, rationed, politically allocated, health care. They understood that full single payer did not have the required Senate votes, so they needed a stepping stone to get there. They may still get their way when all the dust settles. And if SCOTUS follows the Virginia decision, which knocks out the mandate but leaves the rest of the law untouched, all the insurance companies will be put on a fast track to market exit, and the only ways to pay for health care will be cash and Medicare/Medicaid. Leaving out the severability clause may have been a staff mistake, or it may have been deliberate on the part of those who didn't want the above scenario (Supremes knocking out mandate only) to play out.

"The individual mandate is the only known mechanism that can allow insurance companies to compete for business under a premise that everyone will have access to health care; it guarantees that everyone will share the risk of a few costly patients.
The alternative is a single-payer program. If you don't understand this, you sholdn't be writing about health care. Should Americans support healthcare for all, and most seem to, you can achieve that through a mandate or you can achieve it through single payer. Be intellectually honest, Jennifer."

Posted by: andrewp111 | February 1, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

The Congress was fully aware of this. A true Single Payer system was their openly stated goal all along, and ObamaCare was promoted as a "weigh station" to fully socialized medicine - single payer, rationed, politically allocated, health care. They understood that full single payer did not have the required Senate votes, so they needed a stepping stone to get there. They may still get their way when all the dust settles. And if SCOTUS follows the Virginia decision, which knocks out the mandate but leaves the rest of the law untouched, all the insurance companies will be put on a fast track to market exit, and the only ways to pay for health care will be cash and Medicare/Medicaid. Leaving out the severability clause may have been a staff mistake, or it may have been deliberate on the part of those who didn't want the above scenario (Supremes knocking out mandate only) to play out.

"The individual mandate is the only known mechanism that can allow insurance companies to compete for business under a premise that everyone will have access to health care; it guarantees that everyone will share the risk of a few costly patients.
The alternative is a single-payer program. If you don't understand this, you sholdn't be writing about health care. Should Americans support healthcare for all, and most seem to, you can achieve that through a mandate or you can achieve it through single payer. Be intellectually honest, Jennifer."

Posted by: andrewp111 | February 1, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

ObamaCare, passed by the thinnest of partisan margins and intended to restructure 1/6 of the economy, was a declaration of civil war by the Democrats. Get ready for years and years of bloody conflict because of rank political opportunism in the wake of the financial crisis.

Posted by: dan1138 | February 1, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

There are a passel of these graduated children like Ezra Klein floating around the blogo-mediasphere. They're thin, they have tousled hair, their parents sent them to exclusive schools, they've never done anything other than please the teacher/mentor/boss.

They say really foolish things, they've been too busy to read, write and reflect on complex subjects, and they swim in a school of like-minded fluff producers. Example: Klein saying (paraphrase) for attribution, on camera, "The Constitution? The Constitution is more than 100 years old, and stuff."

Anyone who has made a payroll had both the life experience, and the moral perspective, to think deeply about this bill. Anyone who has read history can think better about this bill. That doesn't mean they oppose the bill, it just means that they understand what it means, what it affects, and what it says about American constitutional history.

An old friend, a professor of poli sci, and author of multiple monographs and books on national health care, and I were discussing this bill last fall. I noted that it could not stand without the final evisceration of the 10th Amendment. So, he's a liberal college professor in a liberal town and he doesn't know any constitutional conservatives, generally. And he looked up and impassively said to me, "That's true." For him this is the natural end of the 10th Amendment, a brake on federal power that should be discarded. For me this is the last line in the sand. Neither of us had any doubt about what this bill and its challenge means. Ezra Klein is incapable of such a discussion and it's remarkable that he is paid to opine on anything other than where to find the good bars, parties and alumni gatherings in DC.

Posted by: IowaHawkeye | February 1, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

If Obama is a politically savvy leader, more than he has shown so far, he needs to hold a "come to Jesus" meeting with Reid and Pelosi.

They need to sit down and dispassionately calculate the odds with SCOTUS. If a bad ruling is likely, than they need to do a direct repeal now in the next few months. Repeal in spring 2011 would be bad politically, but a SCOTUS ruling aginst the president in 2012 would simply end his chance of re-election completely.

Perhaps there could even be a pre-arranged deal where the parts that are popular are put into a new smaller limited package and done at the same time.


Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 1, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

johnmarshall5446: Pelosi expressed widely-viewed incredulity and ridicule when asked if the ACA was constitutional. She expressed astonishment that the question was raised. I am curious why you would seek her counsel now as to the constitutional robustness of this legislation.

Posted by: IowaHawkeye | February 1, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: clarkhull: "The alternative is a single-payer program. If you don't understand this, you sholdn't be writing about health care. Should Americans support healthcare for all, and most seem to, you can achieve that through a mandate or you can achieve it through single payer. Be intellectually honest, Jennifer."

Or, obviously, you can achieve it through the status quo, whereby the winners in a market based system afford the losers a safety net in order to maintain a peaceful, liberal democracy. No one in America is denied healthcare. It is you who are not being intellectually honest. The purpose of Obamacare is much different and far more insidious to the American construct of liberty. Obamacare is indeed about central control and authority----universal management and financing of care. It is the social transferor's second choice (their first choice of single payor was and is politically infeasible) for standardizing the care of all based upon bureacratically determined classifications rather than market determinations of human value.

Posted by: FriscoDB | February 1, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

if it was so great then why isn't Congress under the plan?
if it was so great then why are so many unions trying to opt out of it?
if it was so great then why did so many have to be bribed to support it?
if it was so great why didn't anyone even read the thing?
Face it, it was a power grab that had absolutely nothing to do with health care Let's unionize the health care workers so they can be exempt from the health care bill. it was just plain stupid but did ANYONE expect any different from the likes of Pelosi? Reid? BO? The leaders of the pack.

Posted by: AV1RICK | February 1, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"Left unprepared for ObamaCare ruling"
-----------------------------------------
Really? LOL. That's because there isn't a SINGLE leftist in existence that even understands the Constitution.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 1, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

No one seems to be noting the most disturbing potential result of the judge's ruling. My fear, and it is a grave fear, is that Obama will use this ruling to mandate that we all must, indeed, eat broccoli. The horror!

Posted by: clamc | February 1, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

FriscoDB forgets the most important motivation behind Obamacare: access to power. The granting of waivers, for example. This process is being used to reward groups that support Obama, Reid, and the wicked witch of the west. The exchange is clear: waivers for support, increased power. Obamacare is far more about expanding liberal power by stealing from those who achieve and giving to those who are in many cases too stupid or lazy to finish high school in exchange for votes, power than it is about health care. One could argue it will in fact lead to a decrease in the quality of health care. I am a psychiatrist in Ga. The care I can give to those on a gov. program is not nearly as high as the care I can usually give to those on non-gov. health care programs. There are far more restrictions on the medications I am permitted to chose from, for example. I expect this problem to be more, not less pronounced with Obamacare.

Posted by: clamc | February 1, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

The mindset of most folks is that they need to have some sort of comprehensive insurance coverage. They and we would be better off with catastrophic coverage (what we used to call major medical) so that they have to pay for the routine medical exams and procedures. They would become savvy shoppers and healthcare providers could focus on innovative ways of providing their care.


Posted by: SCMike1 | February 1, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse


Exactly. I'd also like to point out that some companies have instituted programs in recent years that significantly cut the health care costs of their employees, by providing incentives for voluntary changes in behavior, such as losing weight and quitting smoking. These programs have proven effective, but won't be allowed under Obamacare, since they rely on health savings accounts and low-premium, high-deductible plans. Obamacare will do nothing to actually reduce the cost of health care, and outlaws programs proven effective at reducing the cost of health care. How is that even rational?

Posted by: mbs235 | February 1, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The issue is going to be settled in an election among political activists in robes.

Posted by: getjiggly2 | February 1, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

To mcp123:

I think you misunderstand the concept of "legislating from the bench."

Finding a law unconstitutional does not equate to judicial activism. Here, the court found that Congress's reliance on the Commerce Clause was unprecedented--to uphold the law, the judge would have had to EXTEND the Commerce Clause even past its previous high-water mark, in Wickard v. Filburn.

The judge declined to extend law--in other words, the judge declined to make new law. This is the very definition of judicial restraint.

Basically, the Obama administration screwed up. The Tax and Spend Clause would have allowed this law to move forward in exactly the same form, if they had simply been willing to call it a tax. By calling it a "penalty", the administration assured that the courts could not treat it as a tax--and thus, it couldn't be justified by the Tax and Spend Clause.

This left the Commerce Clause--which has never been extended to these levels. That doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't be--it just means the government is in the unenviable position of arguing for the creation/extension of law.

Posted by: Johnny_Lawrence | February 1, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"Why the Dems removed the severability clause is very interesting."

They had to. Without the mandate of forcing people to buy insurance, they couldn't afford to cover those without. Insurance companies could raise their rates (which they have done), and everyone is forced to pay the hike in order to pay for the Obama/Pelosi project. Without the mandate, the entire concept fails miserably. Let actuarial data assign cost to consumers and if the government wants to insure those who can't afford it, then create a program to do so...it is unconstitutional to force Peter to pay for Paula; unless they are married of course. Then it seems it becomes a duty.

Our congress is brilliant in deceiving, conniving, and outright theft of the American people...while they sit in the bright light assuming credit for some great moral victory that crushes the constitutional rights of those they deem crushable. All for their own power and glory. Thank you Pelosi...thank you Reid for pointing clearly and boldly to your stubborn, self-absorbed agendas. It helps the people wake up and realize that if they don't get involved, those in power will take everything from them.

Posted by: Objectivity3 | February 1, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"Since the judge threw out the whole legislation, does the following happen as of now
Posted by: johnmarshall5446"

The judge made contradictory statements on the current status of the act while under appeal. Certainly it survives the appellate process then yes, all those things will stop. And that's largely a good thing.

1. "That means the small businesses that are getting tax credits to buy their employees health-care insurance will stop getting those tax credits."
Good. Tax credits only redirect resources from what is in the business/persons' best interests and drives economic growth by maximizing the impact of resources and toward the selfish, less productive/efficient/valuable policies that some lobbyist bought off politicians to implement. This tax credit, specifically, rewards a rigidly-defined set of businesses to claim it helps small businesses. Unconsidered is the regulatory impact on these businesses to apply, monitor, reapply, certify and maintain their fulfillment of the rigid qualifications.

2. "It means young adults who went back on their parent's health-care plan after the law allowed kids up to age 26 to qualify as dependents might be kicked back off."
Good. Unfortunately it's too late. The benefit seems only to apply to those kids that turned 18 or graduated from college this year and were already on their parents' plans. So the impact for actual individuals is rather insignificant. The impact on the industry has been disastrous. Companies that once served this market have already shut down. Firms were shut down, people were laid off, insurance options were limited all due to the law.

3. "It means the rebate checks being sent out to seniors in the Medicare donut hole will stop."
Good. This was in part a bailout to Big Pharma and a huge reversal on the claim for cost control. Part D was a constituency handout and the rebates to reduce part of the responsibility of seniors have in a new entitlement is to merely another constituency handout. It serves little purpose to reform health care or address costs but merely to win senior votes.

3. "It means insurance plans will no longer have to cover preventive care or be barred from rescinding coverage."
Good. Mandated comprehensive health care coverage limits health insurance options and greatly increases wasteful costs upon the system as healthy individuals seek procedures that cost resources they would otherwise direct to activities that provide greater value and drive economic growth.

Posted by: cprferry | February 1, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

RE judicial activism:
Conservatives define this as a court putting an end to a long-standing practice. For instance, religious displays during holidays.
Liberals define this as a court striking down a newly minted law passed by the left.

Which seems more activist, and more intrusive upon the life of the nation?

The judge is arguably doing exactly what we intend that judges do. The analog for leftist activism would be if a judge were to suddenly argue, after centuries of contrary experience, that Americans don't have a right to own a gun, or to buy health insurance freely contracted with another private party.

Posted by: GregBuls1 | February 1, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Obama care IS NOT FREE YOU LIBS;; The facts are now public; CBO, Medical Professionals and actuaries have all gone public;; this bill WILL NOT LOWER HEALTH CARE COSTS. Suck it up and get your premiums up to date; Obama CAN NOT TELL ME TO AND I WILL DO IT IF I WANT TO; NOT IF he wants me to.I do not have to buy health insurance if I DO NOT WANT TO.

Posted by: Nobama11 | February 1, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

72% of the eligible voters are insisting the government adopt the TEA PARTY ideals and values. WOW, see you communists in Venezuela.
Our Democratic Republic is alive and well; DO YOU HEAR US NOW LIBS/OBAMA?

Posted by: Nobama11 | February 1, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

GregBuls1:

I'm not sure I agree with your point re: judicial activism. This was not a "long-standing" practice. In fact, it was exactly the opposite. This law would have stretched the Commerce Clause to a new limit. Judges Vinson and Hudson didn't overrule, or even limit previous precedent--they merely declined to extend the Commerce Clause.

In other words, Wickard allows the Federal Government, under the Commerce Clause, to regulate all ACTIVITY, that, in the aggregate, has a "substantial effect" on interstate commerce. That is currently as far as the Commerce Clause has been extended. Here, the court refused to extend Wickard to all INACTIVITY, that, in the aggregate, has a "substantial effect" on interestate commerce.

Yes, a decision to forego health insurance has an economic impact, and affects interestate commerce. However, the cases rest on a distinction between inactivity and activity. Whether this distinction holds up is above my pay-grade, but that is the crux of the matter.

Posted by: Johnny_Lawrence | February 1, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Let the show begin;; here come the liberal mediabots and they are on the spin mode.. How can this be happening to the ONLY THING oBUMBLER HAS ACCOMPLISHED?

Posted by: Nobama11 | February 1, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

65% ;WE THE PEOPLE; refuse your mandates and all your ideological blunders embalming socialism. Obama you are not an army of ONE.

Posted by: Nobama11 | February 1, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

What's the over-under on Obamacare even getting 4 votes to uphold on the SCOTUS? The Nixon Tapes Decision was 8-0; what reasoning could Ginsberg, Breyer, or Kennedy (assuming one would write the decision) use to overcome this legal argument?

Posted by: aardunza | February 1, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

aS THIS LAW MIGRATES THROUGH THE LEGAL SYSTEM, GUESS WHAT;; IF EVERYONE IS REQUIRED TO BUY INSURANCE THEN WHAT ARE THE LEGAL JUSTIFICATIONS OF 786 WAIVERS THAT HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO THE UNIONS? iT IS EITHER EVERYONE OR no one.

Posted by: Nobama11 | February 1, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by clam: "FriscoDB forgets the most important motivation behind Obamacare: access to power."

I do not forget at all that government control of healthcare translates into political power and ultimately public corruption. My post was in response to clarkhull's claim that for those who believe all American's ought to have access to healthcare, it's either single payer or the individual mandate. That ignores the fact that currently all American's do have access to healthcare. We have a government mandated social safety net. Few in a civil society object to at least some level of a safety net. Afterall, social order is required to protect liberty. The issue is how high that net should be. The ideologically progressive want all on the safety net---no differentiation based on means. The ideologically libertarian want that safety net no higher than is necessary to maintain civility and preserve the republic. Where an impure one falls on the issue is driven by his own situational needs. Where the pure one stands on the issue is driven by whether his master is liberty or equality.

Posted by: FriscoDB | February 1, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The left doesn't really consider the constitutionality in anything they do. Their arrogance demands that if they come up with it, then as far as they're concerned it's right. Thank God the founders wrote such an amazing document, and that it has passed the test of time. The four conservatives on the court will vote to uphold this decision and therefore uphold individual freedom. The four liberals on the court will vote to overturn it, and therefore reduce our freedoms and empower government. The wild card will be Kennedy, but I predict he will vote to uphold this ruling.... Read: A Lesson Learned For The GOP....at....
http://cooperscopy.blogspot.com/

Posted by: ronsuev | February 1, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Vinson also pointed out that under ACA EVERYBODY gets covered. W/o the mandate ONLY sick people would purchase and this would produce adverse selection.

Sooo, the mandate is a FIX FOR A PROBLEM CREATED BY THE BILL IN THE FIRST PLACE.

That's funny!

Posted by: JohnLeeHooker1 | February 1, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

CLARKHULL; THE majority of Americans WANT HEALTH CARE FOR EVERYONE; HUH? WHERE DID YOU GET THAT line of hoowie. I guess it is nice to be back in America; how was Venezuela?

Posted by: Nobama11 | February 1, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"The individual mandate is the only known mechanism that can allow insurance companies to compete for business under a premise that everyone will have access to health care; it guarantees that everyone will share the risk of a few costly patients.
The alternative is a single-payer program. If you don't understand this, you sholdn't be writing about health care. Should Americans support healthcare for all, and most seem to, you can achieve that through a mandate or you can achieve it through single payer. Be intellectually honest, Jennifer."

Posted by: clarkhull | January 31, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm not only in favor of health care for all, but a home for all, food for all and a car for all. I just haven't figured out how to pay for it

Posted by: wbindner | February 1, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

cpr ferry:

Neither nor any immeidate family member have ever suffered a serious illness have they. That's great for you, but less so for the rest of us.

You might be the only person who says denying people coverage for a pre-existing condition is a good thing. Hopefully you won't ever have to change jobs or insurance while someone in your household is being treated for a problem.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 1, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I believe the left's new unofficial slogan is "our legislation is so good, it just HAS to be Constitutional". LOL

Posted by: pijacobsen | February 1, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: aardunza | February 1, 2011 1:42 PM

"what reasoning could Ginsberg, Breyer, or Kennedy (assuming one would write the decision) use to overcome this legal argument?"

I think everyone's assumption is that the four liberal justices on the Supreme Court would approve virtually anything a liberal President decides is "necessary and proper". There really is no protection for the Constitution as far as they are concerned; it's a Constitution in name only.


Posted by: pijacobsen | February 1, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

pij;; that is why FDR tried to stack the court with progressives so he could over rule the constitution.

Posted by: Nobama11 | February 1, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse


the progressive movement has been around a hundred years or more; Herbert Hoover, Woodrow Wilson Teddy Roosevelt,Franklin Roosevelt, Lydon Johnson, Jimmy Carter,, and BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA. America has denounced this social justice agenda over and over but they just keep trying to impose it against our will.

Posted by: Nobama11 | February 1, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Halt implementation. Continue the repeal process. If Obama Administration persists in the implementation after it has been ruled unconstitutional, pull funding for Health and Human Services. If they persist, pull the funding for DOJ for failure to issue an order for compliance. If they persist still, move to impeach the President for failure to uphold the Constitution to which he is sworn. Pressure should be applied to every Democrat Senator to vote for cloture and if they fail to do so, they should be targeted by the Tea Party and other political groups in the next election.

Posted by: dmorris1 | February 1, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I really get tired of the Left's argument that it is “Commerce” because of when an un-insured person goes to the hospital we all pay. Well, why does this occur? If you go back about 25 years ago, there was another set of idiotic laws passed that hospitals had to admit a person even if they had no insurance and were unable to pay.

I live in Houston. Until that time there was a well established charity hospital (Jeff Davis) whose purpose was to deliver babies for the indigent. Over 10,000 babies were born there every year. The social exchange was that the indigent were treated there, but with the stipulation that the hospital would be the training ground for ob-gyn doctors. Of course, while medically quite adequate, the hospital facility was pretty run down. It was not uncommon for the stair wells to smell of urine, etc.

Anyway, with the change of laws, the indigent could essentially “drop in” at any hospital of their choosing. So logically instead of going to Jeff Davis, the lady (quite often an illegal alien) could instead show up at Methodist which is one of the nicest hospitals in the world. The accompanying problem was that the ob-gyn training opportunity was also significantly degraded since there was no longer a concentration of indigent patients at a single hospital.

The point is that the concept of just “dropping in” at any hospital without regards to the ability to pay needs to stop. This single law change is one of the most significant reasons why health care has gotten so out of whack. If this problem had been fixed first, there would not have been nearly as much so-called need for “Obamacare”. By “fixing”, I mean the indigent should go to indigent hospitals. Put another way, if my car is ailing, I can’t simply show up at any repair shop and expect it to get fixed for free. Health care is no different.

Posted by: jwdkturner | February 1, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Hope/Change 2008;; why don't you tell US how much is your life worth;; $20.00, $30.00,$40.00. You fools always try to be intellectual when the topic is nebulous.

Posted by: Nobama11 | February 1, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: pijacobsen | February 1, 2011 3:43 PM

I think everyone's assumption is that the four liberal justices on the Supreme Court would approve virtually anything a liberal President decides is "necessary and proper". There really is no protection for the Constitution as far as they are concerned; it's a Constitution in name only.
-------------------------------------------

I'll bite and predict they'll let the younger Justice Breyer write it. Haven't read his book or follow Court news that closely (in other words, get it from right-sided blogs, reportage, etc.) But it'll be a hand-waving, penumbral, ordered liberty, living Constitution-type argument not unlike that hoochie-coochie dance and "Tribal Stomp" that Groucho Marx did with the Academy behind him in the movie Horsefeathers! :)

Posted by: aardunza | February 1, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I really think that Justice Kagan should recuse herself on this issue and not doing so might possibly be grounds for impeachment, but certainly Congressional hearings on the matter.

Posted by: aardunza | February 1, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Don't you hate those pesky laugh-track emoticons? :|

Posted by: aardunza | February 1, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse

All Hail Judge Roger Vinson! The man is a genius! Thank you sir! You have saved our country from going over the cliff!

Posted by: alan19 | February 2, 2011 12:28 AM | Report abuse

It make me sick every time I see Omammy open his lieing black mouth on the TV. I hope he get impeached next for his treason to our country

Posted by: SavedGirl | February 2, 2011 3:09 AM | Report abuse

Posted by Urgelt:

"SCMike1, you've been listening to Rush Limbaugh a little too much. Fascism has nothing to do with liberal/progressive politics in the United States.

It's easy to understand how Limbaugh became confused about this. Hitler and his propagandists employed a deceptive political tactic: by naming their party "National Socialists," they were able to fool a good part of the German electorate into thinking the Nazis were liberal. They weren't. The Nazis had no socialist agenda at all for their citizens. Instead, they implemented a war economy, invested in their military establishment, cut red tape for corporations, and began a pogram against anyone who even *might* be disloyal. There was no free speech. There was no social safety net. There was no empathy. No liberal in his right mind wants anything to do with Nazism."

Poppycock, sir.

Of course no liberal WANTS anything to do with Nazism. Most Americans want anything to do with slavery but unfortunately it is a part of our history. You might want to pick up a copy of Liberal Facism by Jonah Goldberg. Within it's pages is an English translation of the German National Socialist's official platform; it reads very much like the current Democratic platform. Hitler held many of the same beliefs as Karl Marx, the main difference being Hitler's ultra-nationalist leanings. The idea that this single major difference makes Hitler inherently "right-wing" is a fantasy made up whole-cloth by leftist professors. That the Nazis were socialists-- if a different breed of statist from their Russian counterparts-- is an historical fact. Sorry you're having such difficulty coming to terms with it.

Posted by: fatgraymatt | February 2, 2011 3:47 AM | Report abuse

Posted by FriscoDB:

"I do not forget at all that government control of healthcare translates into political power and ultimately public corruption. My post was in response to clarkhull's claim that for those who believe all American's ought to have access to healthcare, it's either single payer or the individual mandate. That ignores the fact that currently all American's do have access to healthcare. We have a government mandated social safety net. Few in a civil society object to at least some level of a safety net. Afterall, social order is required to protect liberty. The issue is how high that net should be. The ideologically progressive want all on the safety net---no differentiation based on means. The ideologically libertarian want that safety net no higher than is necessary to maintain civility and preserve the republic. Where an impure one falls on the issue is driven by his own situational needs. Where the pure one stands on the issue is driven by whether his master is liberty or equality."

Well-put and although I agree wholeheartedly with the concept of equality under the law, if it's a choice between liberty and equality, I go with liberty every time.

As attractive an idea as "equality" is, it is not a natural part of being human. "All men are considered equal" was written to mean that the law should treat rich and poor alike, not ensure equal outcomes for all. Some are smarter than others; some more physically beautiful than others; some more motivated than others, and so on. This is a fact and it is one of the definitions of diversity.

Throughout most of human history equality of means has been the norm, liberty the exception. Until the last 200 or so years most people on earth were much closer to being "equal"-- in their poverty. Only those in the governing classes had wealth-- and so it generally remains in most socialist-leaning countries. There will always be some with more than others, always. Under liberty far more succeed than under socialism, and the advances paid for by the wealthy eventually benefit all-- which is why most "poor" Americans live far better than the majority of the world's poor. It's why even though the US health care system is usually ranked low it's also responsible for the vast majority of medical advances. It's also why I can now buy a DVD player for $30 or a calculator at the 99-cent store, even though both items were prohibitively expensive for most people when they first hit the market.

I too, wish we could eliminate poverty but if history is any guide, the only equality that socialistic, planned economies generally produce is the equality of misery.

Of course, as Dennis Miller once said, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Posted by: fatgraymatt | February 2, 2011 4:33 AM | Report abuse

An excellent legal analysis.

A severability clause is one of the most commonly used clauses in contracts and legislation for very good reasons. The authors of the legislation knew that. They also knew that severing the mandate leaves only a lot of promises that can't be paid for.

What's in question is whether they really knew that the mandate violates the Constitution and is therefore unenforcable. In an atmosphere dominated by the most arrogant of hubris, as well as an overwhelming belief in the rightness of their cause and their own invincibility I believe they did- and just didn't care.

In short, they didn't listen to the people of this country- who intrinsically knew better- and now it's biting them in the *ss.

Posted by: nolongersubscrtibe | February 2, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Fatgraymatt - Thanks for adding the details behind “Liberal Fascism.” What’s great about that book is that it has made many liberal heads explode and reduced the frequency of the catcall “fascist” being hurled at us poor, misunderestimated right-wing zealots.

Speaking of which, that Judge Vinson’s ruling has come as quite a shockerroo to the liberal elite should prompt them to expand their intellectual curiosity, no? Just as the failure to date of Keynesian stimulus policies should have caused them to pay some heed to the far right’s chorus singing Hayek’s popular “Let’s go serfing now.” But I suppose that since the current rather brutal winter reinforces their belief in anthropogenic climate change, their stripes run only one way and can’t change.

Posted by: SCMike1 | February 2, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

johnmarshall5446,

Don't claim you know me. What responsibilities I take to care for and serve my family are not appropriate for public discussion. Nor the costs and penalties that the health care act imposes upon my or members of my family's employment or taxes or time to deal with its administrative burdens. Or the benefits friends have received from the act.

On the policy itself the need to address preexisting conditions is largely an pathos appeal. No one likes hearing those stories (especially when they've been exaggerated from the facts to smear insurers), but the actual facts of the policies are largely insignificant. In the majority (35) of the states there already existed state initiatives to deal with the problems and get people with preexisting conditions the proper care at an affordable rate relative to the private market.

On the policy of portability the PPACA does a horrible job and aims to limit insurance options to one standard deemed better. But isn't it the customer that should determine which product is better for their purposes?

Posted by: cprferry | February 2, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama unprepared to be president! So what's the news here?

Posted by: jpalm32 | February 2, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

According to a certain WP child writer, the constutions old and no one can understand anyway?

Posted by: jpalm32 | February 2, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

According to a certain WP child writer, the constitution so old and no one can understand anyway?

Posted by: jpalm32 | February 2, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Jenn- may I call you JenN? I think I really like you.

Posted by: jpalm32 | February 2, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

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