As I predicted when the whole Obamacare debate started, the mandate that people buy insurance or suffer a fine was going to be the Achilles’ Heel of the whole thing. Earlier today, US District Judge Roger Vinson, in Florida, ruled the entire program unconstitutional because of its mandate for participation (here). This is excellent news.
He agreed with the plaintiffs pretty much down the line, writing in his opinion, “Or, as discussed during oral argument, Congress could require that people buy and consume broccoli at regular intervals…Not only because the required purchases will positively impact interstate commerce, but also because people who eat healthier tend to be healthier, and are thus more productive and put less of a strain on the health care system." Clearly, using such a rationale allows the government to mandate anything at all, without restriction, if somehow a “greater good” is the only justification needed, freedom of choice be damned.
There’s no doubt this case is now headed to the Supreme Court. If they refuse to grant certiorari, the decision stands and Obamacare is dead. If they hear the case, I’m almost certain Obamacare is still dead. More good news.
The Republican-controlled House recently passed a repeal measure. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to that in light of this ruling. Obviously, it’s on its way to being a moot issue. But they’d be well advised to keep it going at this point, for a couple of reasons. First, until the final court has spoken (depending on the outcome of an appeal attempt), it could still be necessary. The process could take a while yet.
But more importantly, it will be interesting to see how many Senators continue to oppose it in light of this ruling, and the possible political fallout due to Obamacare’s unpopularity. Will they be willing to stay on a sinking ship? I think Minority Leader Mitch McConnell should keep fighting to force this measure to a vote in the Senate. Let’s see how many of those politicians are willing to hitch their horse to that wagon, now that the wheels have fallen off.
I find this ruling particularly interesting in light of another article I read today (here) in which, according to the Associated Press, the FDA “advises” people to cut down on their salt intake. From the article, “The Food and Drug Administration has said it will pressure (food production) companies to take voluntary action before it moves to regulate salt intake.”
“REGULATE SALT INTAKE”. There’s nothing these nanny-state nags think is beyond their powers in dictating to people how they must – not “should” – live their lives. What’s next? A ten-day “cooling off” period at the supermarket before you can pick up a box of salt? The Salt Police standing by your table in the restaurant, or inspecting your kitchen? Salt rationing?
Enough is enough. The pendulum in this country has started swinging back, away from this rampant, out-of-control Big Government paternalism and back to traditional American conservative values. It’s long overdue. Today Obamacare; tomorrow the FDA, EPA, and other overweening bureaucracies that think they have the right to micromanage how we Americans live our lives.