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Posted at 3:53 PM ET, 01/31/2011

Strike two for ObamaCare

By Jennifer Rubin

Following the decision of a federal court judge in Virgina that ruled that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, a Florida court today, in a case involving some 26 states, has held the entire legislation is unconstitutional.

The New York Times reports:

"The [Affordable Healthcare] Act, like a defectively designed watch, needs to be redesigned and reconstructed by the watchmaker," Judge [Roger] Vinson wrote.

In a 78-page opinion, Judge Vinson held that the insurance requirement exceeds the regulatory powers granted to Congress under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Judge Vinson wrote that the provision could not be rescued by an associated clause in Article I that gives Congress broad authority to make laws "necessary and proper" to carrying out its designated responsibilities.

"If Congress can penalize a passive individual for failing to engage in commerce, the enumeration of powers in the Constitution would have been in vain," Judge Vinson wrote.

In determining that the individual mandate could not be severed from the rest of the law, the judge found:

If Congress intends to implement health care reform --- and there would appear to be widespread agreement across the political spectrum that reform is needed --- it should do a comprehensive examination of the Act and make a legislative determination as to which of its hundreds of provisions and sections will work as intended without the individual mandate, and which will not. It is Congress that should consider and decide these quintessentially legislative questions, and not the courts.

I read the section on "Injunction" and could scarely believe my eyes. Was the judge ordering the government not to enforce ObamaCare in all 26 states? Oh, yes, indeed.

Robert Alt of the Heritage Institute e-mailed me, "The judge noted that declaratory relief is the functional equivalent of an injunction, and applied the long-standing presumption 'that officials of the Executive Branch will adhere to the law as declared by the court.' So in the case, the judge asserted that the declaratory relief should bind the parties. If the Obama administration wishes to impose the requirements of Obamacare upon the states, it will need to seek a stay of the opinion either from the judge, or from the 11th Circuit."

Yeah, wow.

Sure, this will go to the Supreme Court, but Obama's historic legislation has been dealt a harsh blow.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 31, 2011; 3:53 PM ET
Categories:  law  
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Comments

Using the judge's reasoning, medicare and social security are also unconstitutional. It goes to the appeal's court or SCOTUS, they will also come to that conclusion.

Posted by: jameschirico | January 31, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The US needs a single-payer system which covers every citizen. Extend Medicare to everyone. All other advanced countries cover all of its citizens.

Posted by: Sion1 | January 31, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

It is not strike two. It is a ruling by a Republican judge who was cherry-picked for his views by the plaintifs. One can't imagine even this Supreme Court knocking down Medicare etc. which the logic of this ruling demands. Well, one can imagine Clarence Thomas doing it, but that's it.

Posted by: JosephGAnthony | January 31, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse


Frivolous!

Frivolous, not a chance of getting knocked down by the Courts!

Pelosi – ‘are you kidding?’

OOPS, possibly not so frivolous after all.


Good bye ‘personal mandate’, the Supreme Court will agree that Congress must ‘GO BACK and DO IT AGAIN’! Maybe this time, after all have finally read the Constitution, they WILL get it right.


Oh what a happy Monday, the US Constitution does still mean something in spite of the oxymoron ‘progressives’ (also known as LIBERALS to most).


Posted by: bcarte1 | January 31, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

It is not strike two. It is a ruling by a Republican judge who was cherry-picked for his views by the plaintifs. One can't imagine even this Supreme Court knocking down Medicare etc. which the logic of this ruling demands. Well, one can imagine Clarence Thomas doing it, but that's it.

Posted by: JosephGAnthony | January 31, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

The Teabaggers and their owners must also believe that it is time to take away the Social Security checks. They also carry a government obligation requiring citizens to pay into the system. So far the Republicans and their mealy mouthed leaders have not come up with one feasible plan to cover the retirement and health care costs of the elderly population in America.
They resent Social Security but none of them have refused to take it. They resent Medicare but won't give up their own government funded health insurance. This is their gross hypocrisy dogma.
Leave it up to them and the teabagging hyenas will live on the streets when they no longer are protected by government funded pensions and health care. There is no reason on earth why America's government cannot take care of its own citizens health needs like all other countries do and at the same costs as other countries.
The Republicans love the "free market" and allowing private industry to take over previously regulated markets like energy, telephones, etc, claiming private industry will do it cheaper then the government. It is all a lie. Private industry duped the dumb politicians into selling their souls for campaign money and letting the CEOs bankrupt the middle class.
Without government funding, no American citizen other than the money barons, will be able to pay for their health care. So go ahead, repeal, repeal, repeal, and watch the citizens have your scalps, you worthless bums of government. fritz

Posted by: papafritz571 | January 31, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

The Teabaggers and their owners must also believe that it is time to take away the Social Security checks. They also carry a government obligation requiring citizens to pay into the system. So far the Republicans and their mealy mouthed leaders have not come up with one feasible plan to cover the retirement and health care costs of the elderly population in America.
They resent Social Security but none of them have refused to take it. They resent Medicare but won't give up their own government funded health insurance. This is their gross hypocrisy dogma.
Leave it up to them and the teabagging hyenas will live on the streets when they no longer are protected by government funded pensions and health care. There is no reason on earth why America's government cannot take care of its own citizens health needs like all other countries do and at the same costs as other countries.
The Republicans love the "free market" and allowing private industry to take over previously regulated markets like energy, telephones, etc, claiming private industry will do it cheaper then the government. It is all a lie. Private industry duped the dumb politicians into selling their souls for campaign money and letting the CEOs bankrupt the middle class.
Without government funding, no American citizen other than the money barons, will be able to pay for their health care. So go ahead, repeal, repeal, repeal, and watch the citizens have your scalps, you worthless bums of government. fritz

Posted by: papafritz571 | January 31, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Here's a great section from page 42:

"If it has the power to compel an otherwise passive individual into a commercial transaction with a third party merely by asserting --- as was done in the Act --- that compelling the actual transaction is itself “commercial and economic in nature, and substantially affects interstate commerce” [see Act § 1501(a)(1)], it is not hyperbolizing to suggest that Congress could do almost anything it wanted. It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place."

Bravo!

Posted by: coffeetime | January 31, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Just to be clear, from today's Washington Post:

"Vinson stopped short of granting a request by the plaintiffs to suspend the law pending further appeals, so in the short run, his ruling is unlikely to delay its ongoing implementation by the Obama Administration."

No injunction yet Jennifer.

Posted by: DaveMichael | January 31, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I find it highly hypocritical that the persons who have free GOVERNMENT-FUNDED health care for the rest of their lives after being elected to Congress don't want ordinary citizens to have the same.

Even worse are the masses of poor (mostly whites, less face it) who support such hypocracy. smh

Posted by: creamit20 | January 31, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

There is a principle that states: "Nothing is higher than truth"! Unfortunately, while we marvel at Egypt's attempt to gravitate towards democratic principles, here at home, we are devolving into our own form of "oppression lite", where ideology has become the "basis" of truth, and not the other way around. Obviously, the health care debate will ultimately find itself before a tainted SCOTUS. However, the truth, whether one is for, or against, the law, is that consequence will always have the last word, which is something we in this country all too often take lightly for the love of ideology.

Posted by: D-0f-G | January 31, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

At the very least, it keeps the health care law in the news. The more attention this dreadful bill gets, the better chance it has of being repealed.

Posted by: RitchieEmmons | January 31, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

If this law is overturned, EMTALA needs to be overturned as well. That would be the only way to save our health care system. I would rather a universal system but sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better. NO MORE FREE CARE IN THE ER!!!

Posted by: soscane | January 31, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

"Strike two for ObamaCare"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: Azarkhan | January 31, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

That "Obamacare" term is highly offensive. Why does the Post put up with such racism and bigotry?

Posted by: PoliticalPrisoner2012 | January 31, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

To get technical, this sounds like terribly sloppy reasoning. The so-called mandate is designed to balance the market impact of eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions. Those two pieces are linked, so one could justify striking down on if the other were found unconstitutional, but they are not yet in in effect. Though they represent a significant part of the law, they are not inextricably linked to every other part. The only reason to unravel the rest of the law is purely ideological. Talk about judicial activism! Wow!

Look at the provisions this injunction is canceling out! Among them, the requirement that health insurance companies spend at least a certain percentage of their premiums on health care as opposed to administrative costs and profits (a provision added in response to threats from the health insurance industry to accelerate the rate of premium increases if they didn't get their way). Some might speculate that some of those additional profits will end up in Judge Vinson's pocket. I don't think that was quite what the framers of the Constitution had in mind.

Posted by: BoringOrange | January 31, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Wait for it- strike three for Obamacare coming soon.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | January 31, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

That's 2-2 if folks are scoring accurately at home. And that's 2 Republican appointees against and 2 Democratic appointees ruling in favor of the law. Bascially, this thing is likely to hinge on whether the conservative justices all live until the next Republican is elected to the White House and it will come down to a partisan Supreme Court battle. If the Court maintains its right-lean until then it will be stricken (although not likely in its entirety; the justices are likely to find some compromise to try to find a 6th justice on this high-profile a case). If the balance tips to the left the law will survive. Shame the right-leaning and left-leaning hacks on the Post aren't willing to be quite this honest in their respective analyses.

Posted by: scott032 | January 31, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Excellent opinion based on common sense logic and Constitutional law. Congress cannot regulate inactivity under the Commerce clause. Imagine arguing that my choice not to buy something constitutes commerce activity. Other that the utter stupidity behind such an argument, its amazing so many liberal sheep line up behind such non-sensical logic. I look forward to the Supreme Court taking this one on, because the timing on a strike-down of the law will be in close proximity to the next election. What a fine platform to run on: "I'm the guy that tried to force unconstitutional laws down you voter's throats and I want your vote for 4 more years. Not a chance.

Posted by: donchew1 | January 31, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Another issue that people seem to miss is that the so-called "mandate" is really just a tax-incentive applied to an interstate commerce market, and it's by no means the only one! If this one is struck down, all the others should be as well, and that means a LOT of corporate tax loopholes and individual deductions... POOF! I suspect it would close up the budget deficit real quick, but it would also create chaos and a pretty dramatic recession -- somehow I doubt the right would want to take credit for that.

Posted by: BoringOrange | January 31, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse


Those who practice white supremacy are determine to repeal the HCR law, by any means necessary...

Posted by: demtse | January 31, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

lol there's no injunction, you dimwit. The law is being allowed to stand while the Obama administration appeals. What sloppy reporting.

Posted by: ExConservative | January 31, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Some people missed the point in comparing Social Security and Medicare. Those are government programs, owned and operated by the USG. Obamacare will require a person to enter into a transaction with a private, for profit, company. It is something akin to requiring a person to buy auto insurance whether they have a car or not.

Posted by: hc01 | January 31, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey Jen, which part of "Vinson declined to issue an order blocking enforcement of the law." are you unclear on?

Posted by: ExConservative | January 31, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

The '06 Congress led by the Socialist Party of Deceit Clown Show of Pelosi & Reid was the most Irresponsible, Inept and Arrogant to ever gain control. Add to that the Incompetent Idiot Soetoro and witness Out of Control Abuse of Power.

Let the Investigations Begin.

'12 Cannot Come Soon Enough !!

Posted by: ChangeWhat | January 31, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

"Some 26 states" - I'd imagine the court docket is precise on how many states have plaintiffs involved in the suit. I'd remove the rhetorical devices from this news commentary.

Posted by: jkruisb2 | January 31, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

When asked the Constitutional basis for the mandate, that constitutional scholar Nancy Pelosi replied, "Are you kidding?" Er, no, Nancy.

This is a great day for our constitutional system of limited, enumerated powers. I will be amazed if the Supreme Court decides to expand the reach of the Commerce Clause to support this monstrosity. Not only is the law clear-cut, but, as the fictional Mr. Dooley observed, "The Supreme Court reads the election returns".

Posted by: eoniii | January 31, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Just to be clear, from today's Washington Post:

"Vinson stopped short of granting a request by the plaintiffs to suspend the law pending further appeals, so in the short run, his ruling is unlikely to delay its ongoing implementation by the Obama Administration."

No injunction yet Jennifer.

Posted by: DaveMichael | January 31, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

---------------------------------
There can be no injunction because the law was not due to take effect until 2014. An injunction can only be ordered if the law was to take effect imminently.

And those who compare it to SS and Medicare- that is a false argument.

Posted by: cathyjs | January 31, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

"Most of what we do has nothing to do with the Constitution"

Insightful comment from Clyburn (D)

What a complete embarrassment.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | January 31, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

lol there's no injunction, you dimwit. The law is being allowed to stand while the Obama administration appeals. What sloppy reporting.

Posted by: ExConservative | January 31, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

--------------------------
Look up the legal reason why there is no injunction. Unbelievable that you'd call someone else a dimwit when you are so uninformed.

Posted by: cathyjs | January 31, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

A blow for socialism.

Posted by: wmpowellfan | January 31, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Hi Cathy, you miserable toad, it wasn't me that claimed there was an injuction, it was the author of this article. To recap: I was correct and you're an imbecile.

Posted by: ExConservative | January 31, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

In the words of the sheep and the ignorant - HOPE - CHANGE! Thank GOD a voice of reason - wasn't Obstupid a lawyer? A CONSTITUTIONAL lawyer? Was he? Where IS he from - he doesn't appear to be that freakin' "brilliant" to me! (or obviously MANY other) oh - wait - it's because he's black....oh no - it's because he's a SHYSTER! Keep the poor ignorant and make keep the lawyers and unions in power - and the sheep will follow. Talk about CLUELESS! He's gonna cut 1/35,000 of the budget? Wow - you GO GIRL! He could save that by not flying to Hawaii to play golf every 3 months! Get over it people - it was NEVER about RACE - you can try and clue in that dimwit MORAN if you'd like - but it's easier to call names than actually DO SOMETHING.

Posted by: RobinK59 | January 31, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Those who practice white supremacy are determine to repeal the HCR law, by any means necessary...

Posted by: demtse | January 31, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

========================================
With comments like these there's no wonder.

Posted by: cathyjs | January 31, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer Rubin, Right Wing spinstress appears to be making up lies to appease her dimwitted base.

Jennifer, there is no injunction, nor is Vinson blocking enforcement of the law. Let's try facts for once, shall we?

Posted by: ExConservative | January 31, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Hi Cathy, you miserable toad, it wasn't me that claimed there was an injuction, it was the author of this article. To recap: I was correct and you're an imbecile.

Posted by: ExConservative | January 31, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

-----------------
No, you are not correct. The judge did not hold his opinion because of pending appeals. He said the entire law must be void. The mandate was the basis for the entire debacle and was not severable.

You can always tell when the other side is losing because they start with the name calling instead of stating facts.

Posted by: cathyjs | January 31, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Thank you to those who want children not to have coverage, that all are created equal unless you have a pre-existing condition, in which case you can suffer.

Posted by: Falling4Ever | January 31, 2011 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"I read the section on "Injunction" and could scarely believe my eyes. Was the judge ordering the government not to enforce ObamaCare in all 26 states? Oh, yes, indeed.

Robert Alt of the Heritage Institute e-mailed me, "The judge noted that declaratory relief is the functional equivalent of an injunction, and applied the long-standing presumption 'that officials of the Executive Branch will adhere to the law as declared by the court.' So in the case, the judge asserted that the declaratory relief should bind the parties. If the Obama administration wishes to impose the requirements of Obamacare upon the states, it will need to seek a stay of the opinion either from the judge, or from the 11th Circuit.""

So no injunction can be ordered because of the long delay in enacting the law but the same can be accomplished through other legal means.

Posted by: cathyjs | January 31, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

The judge has overreached. Even if he says the individual mandate is not constitutional (a highly questionable ruling), the usual procedure would be to say just that. Fixing the problem would be left to Congress, without further comment by a busybody judge.

In any case, ultimately, the American people are no longer going to sit still while health-care, drug, and insurance companies and their well-paid minions in Congress keep depriving them of the kind of decent health care security that every other developed country provides its citizens without question. I think we're fed up with being treated like serfs.

Posted by: threeoaksgone | January 31, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

The US needs a single-payer system which covers every citizen. Extend Medicare to everyone. All other advanced countries cover all of its citizens.

Posted by: Sion1 | January 31, 2011 4:28 PM |
-------------------------------------------

The country is broke. There is no money for this. We need to slash entitlements. This will be a survival issue before long. Survival. Get it? Time to park all the righteousness. We need to avoid collapse.

Posted by: PS7900 | January 31, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

OMG the Soros Socialist Democrats are out today. The judge didn't have to grant an injunction since he declared the law unconstitutional. If we allowed the government to enforce the law now we would be giving them the ability to enforce a law that is unconstitutional. Anyone see a problem with that? The law is unenforceable as currently written.

Posted by: twoeagle | January 31, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Supreme Court. Now. Do it and deal with the outcome, and it will stink irregardless of the ruling. Why? Because half the country loves it, and half hates it. And yet, the party representing only the half that loves it basically told the other half, "who cares what you think, we are in charge and we have no concern for your interests or opinions."

Yeah, that is the democracy we believe in! If you are not in power, you are anally insulted! Wait, is this sounding like the issues of Egypt now!? Do we really have a democracy, or, whatever party is in power, which really has only been one of the Republocrats these past 15 or more years at least, then it is their plurality that speaks for all, to hades with the minority, even if it is 49.99%!

Wow, the more things change, the more they really are the same. Power corrupts, and abolute power corrupts absolutely. There is the clause that belongs under the eagle!!!!

Posted by: Joelhassfam4 | January 31, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

And there are 25 more states besides Florida that want this bill repealed and filed the suit against the fed - Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Future is starting to look a little better.

Posted by: jmk55 | January 31, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer, this is no injuction as your Right Wing friend cathyjs keeps pointing out.

Thanks cathy!

Posted by: ExConservative | January 31, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

The judge has overreached. Even if he says the individual mandate is not constitutional (a highly questionable ruling), the usual procedure would be to say just that. Fixing the problem would be left to Congress, without further comment by a busybody judge.

In any case, ultimately, the American people are no longer going to sit still while health-care, drug, and insurance companies and their well-paid minions in Congress keep depriving them of the kind of decent health care security that every other developed country provides its citizens without question. I think we're fed up with being treated like serfs.

Posted by: threeoaksgone | January 31, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

---------------------------------
"Countries" don't provide anything, taxpayers do. In Canada there is no zero tax bracket, if you make one dollar you will pay at least 25% of it in national and provincial taxes.

The UK announced last week that they're transfering control of their medical system from the government to the healthcare providers and encouraging some privatization.

In Massachusetts the average wait for appointments is 3-5 months and ER visits have gone up 14%.

If those who demand national healthcare are willing to pay taxes for every dollar they earn then go for it.

Posted by: cathyjs | January 31, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer, this is no injuction as your Right Wing friend cathyjs keeps pointing out.

Thanks cathy!

Posted by: ExConservative | January 31, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

----------------------
You're welcome. Facts are facts are facts, they take no sides.

Posted by: cathyjs | January 31, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

strike three, get rid of the dems in 2012.

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | January 31, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

strike three, get rid of the dems in 2012.

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | January 31, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Yippy.

Posted by: cavalier4 | January 31, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Outstanding.

Now, declare Genius Robinson a heretic

Posted by: F-4Phantom | January 31, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I figure health care reform of some sort will happen one way or the other. If it doesn't, skyrocketing health care costs and the way rich corporations, insuraers, drug companies and the medical establishment are mining the present system for all the gold they can get out of it will bankrupt the USA.

Finally, I look for somethng like Medeicare for all.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | January 31, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I take most opinions in Rubin's columns as negative indicators. I look in the opposite direction, toward reality.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | January 31, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

... and the band played on .............

Posted by: cunn9305 | January 31, 2011 5:50 PM | Report abuse

It's not that Obamacare as a name for the act is offensive--it's that the process of passing it and the law itself are offensive.

Posted by: jcwils | January 31, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I have the right not to buy . . .
a gun
a car
a house
There is no reason healthcare insurance should be any different.
Let insurance companies convince us that their insurance products are worth buying.
Don't force people to buy things they don't want to buy.
Government and industry collusion is destroying our country.
Say NO to Big Government and Big Business.

Posted by: jfv123 | January 31, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

If those who demand national healthcare are willing to pay taxes for every dollar they earn then go for it.
Posted by: cathyjs | January 31, 2011 5:38 PM
+++++++++++

Quite well said...you go girl!

Your knowledge base is a welcome relief from some of the biased, ignorant drivel that is often posted here in the comments... and I mean that sincerely.

Your detractors offer flimsy ad hominems and I appreciate your views and facts. Please stick around or visit often.

Posted by: marybel9999 | January 31, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

The writer comes to the wrong conclusion, the judge ruled "without the individual mandate" not voiding all but that provision. Forcing people to be coerced into medicare using private vendors amounts to the same thing.

Posted by: jameschirico | January 31, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

LOL AT OUR LEGAL SYSTEM. REPUBS WILL VOTE AGAINST DEMS WILL VOTE FOR. SAD PART IS I'M TALKING ABOUT OUR JUDGES.

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | January 31, 2011 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Some people missed the point in comparing Social Security and Medicare. Those are government programs, owned and operated by the USG. Obamacare will require a person to enter into a transaction with a private, for profit, company. It is something akin to requiring a person to buy auto insurance whether they have a car or not.

Posted by: hc01
________________________
except that people can control whether they buy a car, and we can wait until they do to insist that they buy liability insurance.

the judge ruled that it required to much speculation about economic effects to consider whether an uninsured person will get sick, not have insurance then, get care in an ER (under EMTALA, signed by Reagan), not pay, and stick the rest of us with the bill, but on the other hand accepted as fact that exactly that was costing us 43 Billion a year - hardly speculative.

that said, the partisan nature of the reaction to the opinion is without merit. no one will confuse me with a conservative, but the opinion is well reasoned, the severability argument is unassailable (the government practically insisted that it was unseverable as a tactic to make it harder to throw out the mandate) and even the inactivity argument is more than defensible, if not bullet-proof.

Posted by: JoeT1 | January 31, 2011 6:08 PM | Report abuse

The writer comes to the wrong conclusion, the judge ruled "without the individual mandate" not voiding all but that provision. Forcing people to be coerced into medicare using private vendors amounts to the same thing.

Posted by: jameschirico | January 31, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

---------------------------
There is no severability here, the mandate being ruled unconstitutional voids the entire act.

TYVM Mary, but I know that for the most part I'm just beating my head against the wall, using facts and reason typically just brings more name-calling. (but rarely facts to counter my points).

Posted by: cathyjs | January 31, 2011 6:16 PM | Report abuse

that the author could "scarcely believe her eyes" reading the Injunction section of the Opinion is embarassing. the judge DENIED the plaintiff's request for an injuntion, simply noting that where the government is the defendant, the equivalent of simple respect dictates that you simply assume the government will respect the decision. In so doing, the judge followed the normal rule. nothing to see here.

Posted by: JoeT1 | January 31, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

as for Medicare, it's a government enacted entitlement, paid for by a tax. an entirely different analysis.

in fact, many of the critics of the individual mandate concede that it would be perfectly constitutional to tax everyone for the cost of a minimum government mandated policy.

the irony is that Republicans, who like the pre-existing condition ban, now can't use the mandate to support it. the irony is that the mandate was part of their health reform proposals since Nixon.

Posted by: JoeT1 | January 31, 2011 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm so glad that the liberals now have ExConservative on their team. Better them than us! Please, ExConservative, if you know any other extremely irritating people who like to post irrational screeds and attack people over trivialities, convince them to become in-your-face liberals also.

Posted by: dmm1 | January 31, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I think the judge DENIED the injunction and therefore did NOT enjoin the law while the decision is reviewed by higher courts.

Posted by: cjknew | January 31, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Judge is set to purchase new multi-million dollar home being built by his personal designer (and funded by Big Insurance).


Posted by: lindalovejones | January 31, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer Rubin: Hopeless on Everything.

Fred, please find an at least marginally competent commentator to take her place.

Posted by: Lamentations | January 31, 2011 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Typical of Rubin and her ilk to completely skip over the fact that two other federal judges completely dismissed similar cases brought against the Affordable Healthcare Act.

Posted by: cile92 | January 31, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

jameschirico: "Using the judge's reasoning, medicare and social security are also unconstitutional."
=========================================
Not true. No one is required to pay Social Security tax or to have Medicare coverage. If you don't work, you don't pay Social Security tax. And you can pay for your health care out of your own pocket, if you can afford it, or you can fly to India and get high-quality health care for a lot less than you pay here; you don't HAVE to have Medicare - there is no penalty for not signing up. The argument that you have to have auto insurance is just as specious; you only have to buy it if you own a car. A lot of people in Manhattan don't have auto insurance for just that reason, yet they don't pay penalties for failing to have auto insurance.

But the Obamacare law says you have to buy health insurance simply because you live and breathe in the United States - no other reason. The commerce clause gives the government the power to regulate commerce. But only a fascist would claim that it gives government the power to FORCE one to engage in commerce.

Posted by: gilbertbp | January 31, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Should come as no surprise that Soetoro's Health Scam is entirely Unconstitutional, he is.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | January 31, 2011 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Correction: 12 federal judges have dismissed lawsuits against the Affordable Healthcare Act, and 2 federal judges have upheld it. On to the next one.

Posted by: cile92 | January 31, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

The social security argument does not hold. Only those who work and then at a certain level have to pay social security and medicare taxes. The payment one must make is spelled out in tax law and not variable (by plan) as would be the case with the health care legislation.

The states did not have to include their workers in social security nor were federal employees included in the social security system. Some state workers are still not part of the social security system. This is because the federal government did not have the right to obligate state workers to participate. Sound familiar????

Posted by: georgiarat | January 31, 2011 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Should come as no surprise that Soetoro's Health Scam is entirely Unconstitutional, he is.


Posted by: ChangeWhat
__________________
the GOP didnt' think it was unconstitutional when it was their idea, including the mandate that the judge found unconstitutional.

that you are a birther says it all.

Posted by: JoeT1 | January 31, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

This is not strike two meaning one more decision like it is strike thing and health care reform is over. The court decisions are still constitutionally weak.

Posted by: interactingdc | January 31, 2011 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Ms Rubin should try her hand at something other than drivel.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | January 31, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Weak court decisions? Look it's over, the Supreme Court may not even hear it and if it does it will also strike it down.
The left spent their bribes, lost in nov and it was all for nothing.
If they had any sense at all Obama would call a summit and agree to rewrite it as a catastrophic care (like bankruptcy? let families keep their homes) and limit malpractice lawsuits.
Any chance of that? No, the WP will be a boil of bloggers, paid activists and leftist true believers trying to "spin" reality into a version they like.
It won't work.

Posted by: Saladin3 | January 31, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

“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.

If you need proof that Reagan appointee Vinson was motivated by ideology in his decision, this is all you need. He felt the need to take a personal shot at the president. Obama in 2008 was not commenting on constitutionality when he made that statement, he was simply questioning whether a mandate would be effective (and likely understood that it would not be politically popular). He ultimately came to the conclusion (as did Mitt Romney in Massachusetts) that the mandate was the only way to expand the insurance pool and overcome the problem of people only buying insurance when they are sick.

I am not optimistic that the Bush Supreme Court will set aside their own ideology when asked to hear the appeal of this and other rulings about Obamacare.

So we will continue to have a system that forces the insured to pay for the uninsured. And we will go bankrupt.


Posted by: DemoDevil | January 31, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

With all the options for financial help for those who cannot afford insurance, there is no excuse for anyone to go without. If you insist on not taking personal responsibility, I suggest a waiver that says something to the effect:

I have freely chosen to remain uninsured.
I will pay my own medical bills until I run out of cash. At which time, I give permission to discontinue treatment. I promise not to become a burden on anyone.

Posted by: joy2 | January 31, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

A judge that understands the constitution and the limits of government. What a novel concept. Too bad the socialist dems can't understand that concept. No wonder they have so much in common with the muslim brotherhood. Bad Day at Camp Barack.

Posted by: genocincy | January 31, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Strike Two? Well, this baseball metaphor breaks down in one sense...teams can't pick the umpire they want to use for an important game. What we have here is another politically-driven AG, like Virginia's Cucinelli, has gone to a carefully selected judge to get the ruling he hoped that judge would deliver. Let's wait to see what our own right-leaning SCOTUS will do. They'll likely find Obamacare (if you must call it that), is OK..or they'll strike down Social Security, Medicare and more.

Posted by: AHappyWarrior | January 31, 2011 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama, Nancy, Harry and their fat cat friends in the insurance industry are crying in their beer tonight ... a brave judge says you can't force Americans to buy a product they don't want or need!

Posted by: tompinch | January 31, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

"...So we will continue to have a system that forces the insured to pay for the uninsured. And we will go bankrupt..."

So you prefer a system in which Americans are forced to buy a product they don't want or need? Don't you think there should be SOME constraints on what big government can make us do against our will? Have you Liberals completely abandoned the idea of individual liberty?

Posted by: tompinch | January 31, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I have no doubt the SC will follow the $$$ and declare this law unconstitutional. What then though? We go back to the 32nd most effective system with the highest per captia cost in the world? Why must we think this is the best we can do?

Posted by: bob29 | January 31, 2011 7:49 PM | Report abuse

"So you prefer a system in which Americans are forced to buy a product they don't want or need? Don't you think there should be SOME constraints on what big government can make us do against our will? Have you Liberals completely abandoned the idea of individual liberty?"

I already live in a system like that. My tax dollars are paying for wars that I do not want or need. They are paying for roads in other states that I will never drive on. It is the price I pay for participating in society. If that is Liberal, so be it.

Posted by: DemoDevil | January 31, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

"...It is the price I pay for participating in society. If that is Liberal, so be it..."

So your answer is yes, you've completely abondoned the idea of individual liberty. Whatever big government decides is "good" for us, you're OK with. No thanks, that's not my America.

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

Mandate broccoli!

It is a fine day when the courts side with the will of the people and uphold the constitution!

Today is a fine day!
what a bad day to be hung-over from an elite liberal press party!

Posted by: JBfromFL | January 31, 2011 8:48 PM | Report abuse

"Here's a great section from page 42:

"If it has the power to compel an otherwise passive individual into a commercial transaction with a third party merely by asserting --- as was done in the Act --- that compelling the actual transaction is itself “commercial and economic in nature, and substantially affects interstate commerce” [see Act § 1501(a)(1)], it is not hyperbolizing to suggest that Congress could do almost anything it wanted. It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place."

Bravo!"

I second that bravo!

Posted by: SCOTSGUARDS | January 31, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

This one is headed to the Supremes. By your baseball analogy, the count is 2 - 2, though there's room for 50 balls and strikes in this at bat.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 31, 2011 9:27 PM | Report abuse

This is the such poor judicial reasoning as to really be a joke. If this is what passes for judicial professionalism then this country is in deep trouble.

Posted by: Chops2 | January 31, 2011 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Most of the preceding comments seem to be offered without thought and study. Some say it is Republican vs Democrat. Others even less informed claim it is a racial issue. What is going on here is the democratic process working as envixioned by our founding fathers. Let the system work. If you do no get the outcome you desire, then so be it. It is not about YOU!

Posted by: gone2dabeachgmailcom | January 31, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

For all you "I'll take care of myself don't need no ^&^%$! medical insurance" types, a question: You're uninsured, get hit by a bus, and after multiple surgeries and six weeks in the hospital ICU you, alas, croak. Who pays your $250,000 bill? Or should the rest of us just leave you on the side of the road?

Posted by: A_Reader | January 31, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

PoliticalPrisoner2012 wrote:

"That "Obamacare" term is highly offensive. Why does the Post put up with such racism and bigotry?"

How exactly is disagreeing with the President in this way "racist"? Remember "Reaganomics"? Was that a bigoted, racist comment?

I am not a racist, but you are, obviously, a moron.

Posted by: qoph | January 31, 2011 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Looks like we won't have to repeal obamacare............it's unconstitutional!!!!

Democrats are so dumb, wasting all that time on something unconstitutional.

In ruling against President Obama‘s health care law, federal Judge Roger Vinson used Mr. Obama‘s own position from the 2008 campaign against him, when the then-Illinois senator argued there were other ways to achieve reform short of requiring every American to purchase insurance.

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

Posted by: charlietuna6661 | January 31, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Blah, blah, blah... Please temper your enthusiasm with some reading of SCOTUS jurisprudence on "case or controversy." Then decide how and when to decry "judicial activism."

Posted by: Goombay | January 31, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

That "Obamacare" term is highly offensive. Why does the Post put up with such racism and bigotry?

Posted by: PoliticalPrisoner2012 | January 31, 2011 4:47 PM

--------------------

Maybe because the term is neither racist nor bigoted. Derogatory? Perhaps, but certainly not to the degree that "teabagger" is.

The whole point of affixing names to bills is to make them more or less popular and palatable. The "PATRIOT" Act was not named such by some random, fortunate coincidence. Those who wrote the bill worked hard to label it as such, and one difficulty in knocking down many of its draconian provisions is that the law sounds, well, patriotic.

Those drafting this health care bill made the mistake of starting the debate before they defined the bill, leaving opponent's to come up with a name for it. Once supporters did settle on a name, it was an awkward, forgettable one. I mean, the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.  "Obamacare" is far from flattering, but it is hardly racist or bigoted. A simple conjunction of a president's name with a bill is not racism. After all, we can talk of "Bushisms," but this is not bigoted, is it?

There is a difference between bigotry and mere political insult. You should really learn what this difference is...or maybe you already know, and you're just tossing around incendiary terms like "racist" and "bigoted" as cheap insults, even if they are not really relevant or applicable?

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

Just out of curiosity, how is this not an "activist judge legislating from the bench"? Or does that only apply when it is done by the other team?

Posted by: pete1013 | January 31, 2011 11:24 PM | Report abuse

No one gave a rats rear when we are mandated to buy auto insurance or be FINED by state governments. No one gave a rats rear when we are mandated to get mortgage insurance or you are not permitted to get a mortgage if you can't slap down 20 percent. Yeah don't give me that tied BS argument about you don't have to buy a car. Yeah, you have to have insurance or else the government can fine you. Even if you rent a car and don't own one. You have to have some sort of insurance. I am looking forward to states just saying hey...don't have to buy insurance now for the car. See the insurance industry have a cow. No one told me I can opt out of paying for stupid wars and other BS. Now because a black man is president they will try anything to attack this because it mandates someone to do something. I mean heck, does this mean I can tell the IRS to go take a flying flip at the moon too? Frankly, this is all about trying to take down a black President, it has nothing to do with constitutionality, and I hope SCOTUS takes this partisan judge and shove this decision where the sun don't shine. I say ok you jerks. Let's make this a total take over of the healthcare system then, I mean you weren't happy with it before let's really do the deal right. We should get a second shot at making this a public option plan too.

Posted by: jacquie1 | January 31, 2011 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Thank God. Get rid of this and then get rid of Obama. Cant wait until the Supreme Court declares the whole thing Unconstitutional. Can't wait until Obama is gone.

Posted by: DaMan2 | February 1, 2011 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Okay,

Some of these observations are easily rebutted by understanding the Constitution.

1), this in completely inapposite to "state" mandated insurance. That is precisely the difference. There is nothing in the federal Constitution which prevents the states from imposing such fees. It is the states which requires you to have automobile insurance. The government of the United States, however, is one of limited enumerated powers. Its power must be affirmatively written in the Constitution. It has no such authority to require citizens to engage in this market pursuant to the "commerce" clause (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3.


2) No one handpicked or cherry picked this judge. Federal judges are randomly assigned cases. They don't get to select the ones they want. In a sense, someone did handpick this judge but not for this case. President Reagan nominated him, and the Senate confirmed him, as the Constitution requires. In the last 31 years, republican presidents have been in office 20 out of the 31 years. It is no wonder that the majority of the federal bench is conservative. Spoiler Alert: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit hears appeals for cases in GA, AL, and FL (where this case was decided), and this Appeals Court is mostly, wait for it, conservative. What's happening here is neither a mystery or a conspiracy.

3) What about Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security? That is the real kicker. Congress could have enacted this law pursuant to its taxing power. Those programs are, in fact, taxes. Congress declined to enact a tax for this law. The Justice Department argued that Congress had enacted a tax, but this court, as has the other three courts to rule on this case so far, rejected Justice's view. Because 2010 was an election year, the democrats were too afraid to pass a tax during an election year. The government is trying to have it both ways.

4) What about the Supreme Court? In 1995 the Supreme Court ruled that Congress had exceeded its "commerce" clause powers in a seminal case called Lopez v. U.S. Any notion that case was a fluke was dispelled in 2000 when the Court struck down another commerce clause law in a case called U.S. v. Morrison. Both cases were decided 5 to 4, and the rulings fell along ideological lines the five more conservatives Justices honestly believe that Constitution imposes categorical limitations on the federal government, and unlike the states, it does not have general police powers.

The Constitution so limits the feds precisely as the conservatives said it does, which is why it actually bothers to list the powers granted to the federal government. Read it sometimes. It's not that long.

.

answered by understanding the constitution and other laws.

Posted by: DCMac2 | February 1, 2011 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Correction: 12 federal judges have dismissed lawsuits against the Affordable Healthcare Act, and 2 federal judges have upheld it. On to the next one.
Posted by: cile92

Is this correct?
If so,why all the cheering?

Posted by: rcaruth | February 1, 2011 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Re: "Some people missed the point in comparing Social Security and Medicare. Those are government programs, owned and operated by the USG. Obamacare will require a person to enter into a transaction with a private, for profit, company. It is something akin to requiring a person to buy auto insurance whether they have a car or not." Assuming, arguendo, that the writer is right, and that the SCOTUS ruled so, the blueprint for Congress would be to do exactly that--create a government health program for everyone not on a private plan, and require financial buy-in for all. It wouldn't take long for most people to realize that VA-type care is much more preferable and affordable than for-profit insurance. How sweet, for the Tea-partiers to lay the legal groundwork to single-payer health care.

Posted by: JayinPa1 | February 1, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

The judge gave very good reasons for his decision. A great day for all Americans! Obama sold us all out when he lied to us all and did the deal behind closed doors! He got paid off and we got no real universal health care. Now maybe the real men can get a bill with the single payer/public option! Health insurance that will cover the poor! What a great day for America! Obama? How much did you get to sell your soul? Why do you not care about the poor in America that need our help! Obama don't bother running in 2012 you do not care about us and we do not care about you. Just go away
I can be contacted at work http://www.bestmichiganbusinesses.com and yes please keep those jokes coming in you guys have been making my day. GE building better weapons to sell to our enemies..no wonder Obama is so close to them! Obama he sure loves his war! Four more years! Come on Dems chant with me Four more years! Four more years!Of war in Afghanistan! Lets hope Cheney agrees to be on the ticket in 2012 Obama/Cheney warmongers you can believe in!

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

Hey you phony, intellectually challenged lefties, a great day.
Damn fool tried to slip in a leftist friendly government. Stick a fork in him. HE IS
DONE.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Posted by: nomobarry | February 1, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I wonder where Obama is going to send peeple to be tortured? If his friend and dictator in charge is thrown out who is he going to get to do his torturing? Lucky Obama lied and kept Gitmo open.. I guess Obama will have to go back to doing his own torturing.

Posted by: Loxinabox | February 1, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

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