The battle in the judiciary against Obamacare is viewed mainly as an effort forestall the imposition of a nationalized health system. But as yesterday’s ruling against the health care purchase mandate portion of the bill makes clear, it’s more than a battle against Obamacare. It’s a fight to prevent an new, unprecedented era of government power over our lives.
The Commerce Clause of the Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate interstate Commerce. The argument against the Obamacare mandate that all must purchase health care is that Congress does not have the power to COMPEL economic activity. To regulate commerce, there must be commerce, and a decision not to buy something IS NOT COMMERCE. It’s an elementary exercise of free choice.
The Obama administration’s tortured, self-justifying logic is that if you fail to buy insurance, you are affecting Commerce, because other people will eventually have to pay for your health care, which you will eventually require.
The two judges who decided the case – one appointed by DEMOCRAT Bill Clinton, make clear that this is the road to requiring you to do WHATEVER THE HELL THE GOVERNMENT WANTS YOU TO DO.
The government’s position amounts to an argument that the mere fact of an individual’s existence substantially affects interstate commerce, and therefore Congress may regulate them at every point of their life. This theory affords no limiting principles in which to confine Congress’s enumerated power . . .
Every day, Americans decide what products to buy, where to invest or save, and how to pay for future contingencies such as their retirement, their children’s education, and their health care. The government contends that embedded in the Commerce Clause is the power to override these ordinary decisions and redirect those funds to other purposes . . .
Even in the face of a Great Depression, a World War, a Cold War, recessions, oil shocks, inflation, and unemployment, Congress never sought to require the purchase of wheat or war bonds, force a higher savings rate or greater consumption of American goods, or require every American to purchase a more fuel efficient vehicle . . .
The Wall Street Journal calls the judges’ decision “one of the most persuasive and tightly reasoned deconstructions of the mandate’s supposed constitutional logic.”
If the mandate is upheld by the Supreme Court – or if one of the conservative justices drops dead before this is considered the middle of next year – be afraid of an unprecedentedly empowered federal government.
Be very afraid.