Human Events Blog

Breaking News: Congress Can’t Make You Buy Stuff

Judge Henry Hudson of Virginia, the same judge who put Michael Vick behind bars for dogfighting, has issued a landmark ruling that declares the ObamaCare mandate forcing individuals to buy health insurance is unconstitutional.

Fox News reports the judge found no authority for Congress to compel the purchase of health insurance under either the Commerce Clause or General Welfare Clause of the Constitution.  His decision “invalidates the requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance by 2014 or face a federal fine.”  The Obama Administration is expected to appeal the ruling, in a process that will likely end at the Supreme Court.  Meanwhile, another challenge the constitutionality of ObamaCare is set to go before a Florida judge on Thursday, with 20 states and the National Federation of Independent Businesses joining the plaintiffs.

The individual mandate is essential to the concept of ObamaCare as a centrally designed solution to health care issues .  As Nancy Ann DeParle, head of the White House Office of Health Reform, explains it, the mandate is “key to making sure that we can ban the pre-existing conditions exclusions, the requirements that health insurance policies have had that have said they won’t cover people who have pre-existing conditions or are already sick.”  The President expresses this through the metaphor of auto insurance, which every driver is required to buy.  Since your health is now the prerogative of the all-powerful and benevolent State, it’s reasonable to require everyone to buy health insurance, so we don’t have freeloaders skipping along with pre-existing conditions and keeping their wallets zippered, right up until they need medical care.  Of course, the 222 favored constituents who already collected valuable waivers from the ObamaCare nightmare are special, and can be fully trusted with their own freedom, unlike the rest of you irresponsible potbellied walking germ factories.

This concept could have been implemented through a general tax to fund “free” government health insurance, but those who pushed ObamaCare had to be careful not to “raise taxes,” particularly on the lower echelons of the Sainted Middle Class.  That’s why health insurance had to be a “mandate.”  It’s not a tax – they’re just forcing you to purchase a valuable product, whose many features you can read about in colorful brochures prepared at taxpayer expense, while you wait in line to see the death panels.  Also, the waiting rooms will have taxpayer-funded donuts, but they’ll be stale, and they’ll be those lousy plain cake donuts nobody really likes anyway.

Coincidentally, ABC News just released a poll showing public support for ObamaCare at an all-time low of 43%.  This is especially remarkable when you consider the worst is yet to come – the public image of ObamaCare is mostly self-righteous moralizing, bumper-sticker slogans, and candy-coated promises.  The public must have noticed all the jobs dying in the radioactive aura surrounding this legislation, and they appear to be carrying a grudge about the way it was passed.

To be brutally honest, the best thing that could happen to the Democrat Party at this point would be for ObamaCare to fall apart due to Constitutional issues.  They could slink away from the wreckage, make a few ritual gestures of fealty to the Founding Fathers, and hope to God public anger dissipates before the 2012 elections.  If the health-care disaster survives into next year, the new Republican House will kill it by defunding it, and the GOP will get to pose on the corpse of the slain dragon as they ask voters to support a President who won’t veto the final beheading.  I can hardly imagine* what happens to a party the American public comes to see as an enemy that needs to be defeated, so their once-in-a-lifetime “signature legislation” can finally be reversed.

* just kidding, I can imagine it.


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