Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Obamacare takes another step towards the grave

A year ago March I predicted that the Supreme Court would overturn Obamacare on Constitutional grounds. Today the LA Times reports:

A top Obama administration lawyer defending last year's healthcare law ran into skeptical questions Wednesday from three federal judges here, who suggested they may be ready to declare all or part of the law unconstitutional.

Acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal K. Katyal faced off against former Bush administration Solicitor General Paul Clement in what has become the largest and broadest challenge to the healthcare law. In all, 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business joined in urging the judges to strike down the law.

... in an ominous sign for the administration, the judges opened the arguments by saying they knew of no case in American history where the courts had upheld the government's power to force someone to buy a product. {Emphasis added.]

So it's looking good for my prophetic abilities. Not so good for the country.


Dan Maas said...

Don't most states have laws that require drivers to carry car insurance? Also, requiring hospitals to treat uninsured patients seems like a forced commercial transaction as well. Is the problem that Obamacare is a federal law without support at state level?

Ron said...

States can do things that the Federal government can't under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. (That, BTW, is going to be the basis of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, because when he was governor of Massachusetts he signed what is essentially Obamacare into law in that state.)

Anonymous said...

In any case, states do not require citizens in general to carry car insurance, only those choosing to drive on the state's roads. (There have been some challenges to this, with mixed results. But it seems commonly accepted today that driving on public roads is a privilege rather than a right.)

Requiring hospitals to treat uninsured patients is part of the deal in opening a hospital, which is also (arguably) a privilege not a right.

Anonymous said...

If driving a car is a privilege and not a right; then receiving health care in an emergency room can similarly be deemed so. No insurance (or immediate cash payment), no treatment. We have no constitutional right to free emergency health care, just like we have no such right to drive a car. The solution for those who really don't want to buy into the system is to issue coverage cards to those who post a large bond into escrow to cover their emergency healthcare costs, $1,000,000 might be sufficient.

Ron said...

The reason we insist that emergency rooms treat all comers is not that they have a "right" to it, but that we as a society don't have the stomach for letting people die because they can't pay for treatment (though we do seem to have the stomach for letting them endure more or less arbitrary levels of suffering).

Anonymous said...

Are immunization vaccines not a product? I'd say so. Yet, the government has required parents to immunize their children for decades.

Perhaps one might argue that people are not forced to have children, just as they can choose not to drive a car. However, wouldn't it at least follow that, if the government can force parents to immunize their children, then the government can also force people to purchase health insurance for their children?