Human Exceptionalism

Obamacare: Trial Number Two Against Mandatory Purchase to Go Forward

First, Virginia’s lawsuit brought against Obamacare’s mandatory insurance purchase provision was allowed to proceed to trial.  Now, a dfferent judge has indicated that parts of a seperate lawsuit brought against the Federal Government by 20 states about the same provision will be also go forward.  From the story:

 A federal judge said Tuesday he will likely dismiss only parts of a lawsuit by 20 states challenging the Obama administration’s health care overhaul as unconstitutional, though he didn’t specifically say what portions.  The Obama administration had asked U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson to dismiss the entire lawsuit. The states and the administration disagree over whether people should be required to have health insurance, and whether states should pay additional Medicaid costs not covered by the federal government. The judge said he will issue a ruling by Oct. 14. The lawsuit is likely to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

This is an important case beyond Obamacare. At issue is whether the commerce clause in the Constitution is so sweeping and all encompassing that the Feds can force citizens to engage in commerce.  I think not. 

Ironically, I think a single payor plan would be constitutional under the government’s power to tax, while no one would be forced to sign up, like Social Security or Medicare (other than Part A, which is automatic).  But requiring everyone to buy a private insurance policy–at the risk of a penalty–isn’t a  tax (even though the Obama people now lamely say it is)–it is forced commerce with a punishment for failing to obey.  I think–I hope–the Supremes will throw down the penalty flag.