As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

The Main Issue in the Obamacare Decision

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent piece explaining the key points in Judge Roger Vinson’s decision striking down the health reform law.

The White House attack machine has already labeled him a right wing jerk, but the logic of his decision is, while debatable by reasonable people, simple. Here’s an excerpt from the WSJ piece. It was written by Randy Barnett, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University Law Center, and Elizabeth Price Foley, is a professor of constitutional and health care law at Florida International University College of Law.

The government’s lawyers in the Florida case insisted that not buying health insurance was somehow different from a failure to buy other products like clothes or food. They said health insurance was “unique” because, eventually, everyone will seek and obtain health care. And if they aren’t insured, the costs will be shifted onto others, thus substantially affecting commerce.

Judge Vinson rejected this argument, recognizing that “not consuming” other products, such as food, is also unavoidable and can have substantial effects on other commercial markets. “There is quite literally no decision that, in the natural course of events, does not have an economic impact of some sort,” he wrote. “The decisions of whether and when (or not) to buy a house, a car, a television, a dinner, or even a morning cup of coffee also have a financial impact that—when aggregated with similar economic decisions—affect the price of that particular product or service and have a substantial effect on interstate commerce.”

All signs point to Justice Anthony Kennedy, frequently the Court’s swing vote, as the one who will decide if Obamacare lives or dies. The future of health care in America probably depends on whether Mr. Kennedy thinks not buying health insurance is an act of commerce.

If he decides it is an act of commerce, I’ll be very relieved. I’m going to stop writing this blog and see if someone pays me.

3 Responses to The Main Issue in the Obamacare Decision

  1. When the Dems took up a healthcare reform banner, they went too far, too fast. Without even reading the law to understand it’s many regulations or allowing debates in Congress, the Dems, who held the majority votes, arrogantly passed this massive legislation. The Prez, who thought he ‘won’ the phony debate with the Repubs, showed us an attitude that was shocking and appalling at the same time. He had no sympathy or showed no understanding of the opponents to this law and the people who protested it’s passage.
    There are good things in this law but the good things could have been legislated separately without taking over the whole insurance industry, the student loan industry, hiring 15,000 new IRS agents and forcing all of America to ‘buy something’ or pay a fine.

  2. My assumption is that Kennedy will vote against HC; someone wrote that Kennedy has a very thin, almost opaque line of libertarianism that runs through his veins so its a possibility that he could vote with us, a slim chance but who knows. I’ll be damned if he does, but it rests on his shoulders. Kagan and the other Marxists will vote for HC, thats a gimme … if ANY of the liberals vote otherwise, I’ll be shocked.