Freedom New Mexico
Escaping the catastrophic consequences of the new federal health care law may be a step closer since the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week declared the linchpin of Obamacare unconstitutional. The government, said the 2-1 decision, cannot force people to buy health insurance.
For those who understand government’s proper role to be limited, it’s clear the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a vast overreach. One federal appellate court’s three-judge panel now agrees, although another, the 6th Circuit, in June upheld the law. A third appellate decision is expected soon.
The conflicting decisions may hasten the U.S. Supreme Court’s consideration of the case, perhaps as soon as the fall. That may mean a decision before next year’s presidential election. If the Obama administration appeals to the full 11th Circuit court, however, it would delay a Supreme Court ruling until after the election.
We prefer the high court resolve this matter sooner, not later. Whether that comes before the election or after, the end may be the same. It could result in removing from the books this onerous mandate and its associated regulatory intrusions.
If the high court upholds Obamacare before the election, it could generate widespread opposition leading to a Republican landslide as candidates respond to voters’ desire to revoke the law. Since its passage in 2010, Obamacare has not enjoyed majority public support. Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute think tank and author of “The Truth About Obamacare,” told us that if the law is enshrined by a high court ruling, expect significant voter outrage.
If the high court overturns Obamacare, it would be regarded as a major Republican election-year victory. If a final court ruling is delayed until after the election, calls for repeal are likely to figure prominently in campaigns against President Barack Obama and the current Democratic Senate majority. Those are potential political ramifications.
Constitutional implications were explained by the 11th Circuit, which essentially mocked Obamacare’s unprecedented demand that everyone buy insurance simply because the government says so. “We are unable to conceive of any product whose purchase Congress could not mandate under this line of argument,” the decision said.
Pacific Legal Foundation’s principal attorney Timothy Sandefur said the decision is “a crucial vindication” of limited government. “The government has only certain specified powers – not the power to do whatever politicians think is a good idea.”
The 11th Circuit judges said, “(W)hat Congress cannot do under the (Constitution’s) Commerce Clause is mandate that individuals enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die.”
To uphold Obamacare’s mandate would mean there is essentially nothing the government cannot demand of us. That’s simply wrong.