The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals recently found the individual mandate of ObamaCare unconstitutional. This would seem to be a death blow against the entire rationale for the enterprise, since forcing people to buy government-approved insurance is an essential component of Obama’s strategy to socialize insurance costs.
Whether the loss of its essential rationale makes ObamaCare completely “irrational” depends on what you believe the true purpose of the program to be. If it was supposed to make health care more available and affordable… well, that’s already a joke. Rarely has a cost curve been “bent” upward so sharply, in such a short period of time.
On the other hand, if ObamaCare is viewed as a blind power grab, passed by “legislators” who cheerfully admitted they had not read the bill – and a House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who chirped that passing it was necessary to find out what was in it – then its logic is not damaged by the loss of the individual mandate. On the contrary, over the long run, it only enhances ObamaCare’s efficiency at transforming liberty into government power. More people will “fall through the cracks” into public exchanges, which will require more funding. The health insurance industry will die even more quickly after radiation poisoning after exposure to ObamaCare’s unstable isotopes… hurrying the moment when a sick and frustrated nation is finally ready to submit to single-payer socialized medicine.
Of course, the ObamaCare monster crawls forward. The loss of its central principle does not kill a gigantic government program, any more than decades of rising costs and abject failure would. Everyone has known all along that the final fate of ObamaCare will be determined before the Supreme Court, if the 2012 elections don’t produce a President and Congress who take it down first.
The Supreme Court refused to expedite ObamaCare hearings, so the long slog through the federal court system must continue. Meanwhile, billions are wasted in compliance with corrupt legislative code, and thousands of jobs have been lost.
Writing at the Washington Examiner, Conn Carroll hopes the Supremes will put ObamaCare out of its misery, but raises a grim possibility that must be kept in mind:
When the United States Supreme Court examines the individual-mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act sometime next spring, it will undoubtedly give great weight to the text of the United States Constitution and relevant Commerce Clause case law.
But, whether or not any justice will ever admit it, some on the court may be hesitant to invalidate the new law because of the significant strain it would place on an already divided Congress.
This is part of the heads-they-win, tails-we-lose logic of rampaging statism. Nobody involved with pushing ObamaCare through Congress cared whether it would place a “significant strain” on the public sector. No acolyte of Big Government ever cares about that. The presumed good intentions of Big Government programs render all questions about crushing the private sector beneath thousands of pages of regulations irrelevant.
But when it comes time to repeal those fatally flawed programs, we’ve got to think about the strain it would place on the State! Think of all those bureaucrats and enforcers who would become unemployed! Think of how stressed-out Congress would become!
This is no way to manage the affairs of a free people. Their destiny should not be written by judges who effectively become adjuncts of the legislature. Decades of lesser insults against the Constitutional restraint of federal power led to the moment when statists felt relaxed about dropping a gigantic, deformed, blatantly illegal law upon us, safe in the knowledge that every aspect of the federal machine would continue blindly digesting it… no matter how obviously poisonous it was.
Eventually we’ll be treated to the spectacle of professional Supreme Court watchers filling the airwaves with Tarot-card predictions of what the justices will do, based on everything from past rulings to personality quirks and political leanings. That will come after ObamaCare has already been allowed to do incredible damage to the American economy and health care system. A supposedly free nation will find itself holding its breath, and waiting for the end of a tragedy that never should have been allowed to begin.
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