A Florida federal judge declared Obamacare’s individual purchase mandate unconstitutional. Not unexpected, and I think, very right on the law. But he also seems to have declared the whole law null and void, much further than the Virginia judge who also found the individual purchase mandate unconstitutional, but severed that core provision from the rest of the law. allowing the remainder to remain in effect. (Remember, the law does not have a severability clause.) I will defer further comment on the ruling until I have had a chance to read it, because it may be momentous.
In the wake of the ruling. 47 Republican Senators have co-sponsored a repeal bill–already passed in the House. From the story:
An emboldened caucus of Senate Republicans came out in full force in favor of a bill to repeal the new health care law Monday, just hours after Federal Judge Roger Vinson ruled the law unconstitutional. All 47 Republicans have signed on as co-sponsors to a repeal measure in the Senate, said South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, chairman of the Senate Steering Committee. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who controls what bills are allowed to reach the Senate floor, has vowed repeatedly that he will not allow a vote on any repeal bill. But there are procedural maneuvers Senate Republicans can take to get it on the floor, including offering it as an amendment to another bill. Republicans began the process last week to use Senate Rule 14, a procedural objection tactic, to put the House bill passed on Jan. 19 to a vote in the upper chamber.
There are more than a few Blue Dog senators on the Dem side up for reelection in 2012 who will be feeling the heat on this. And even POTUS, in the SOTU speech, said he would consider changes. So, it looks like Obamacare will not survive as currently constituted.
The responsible thing to do now, it seems to me, is to revisit Obamacare, and make it Americare by coming up with a more measured, far less centralized, and less expensive law that makes it easier for uninsured who want coverage to obtain it, without also giving control over what constitutes the proper standards of care to federal bureaucrats, and hence, opening the door to rationing. In other words, the kind of true compromise that should have been passed in the first place in a matter of this import.
But, I don’t think this administration is responsible when it comes to health care reform, so I am not holding my breath.