Florida judge Robert Vinson recently ruled on the 26 state lawsuit against ObamaCare and found the law's individual mandate to buy health insurance unconstitutional. Critically, he also ruled that, in the absence of a severability clause and the centrality of the mandate to the law, it is void in its entirety.
If the GOP is smart, they will use the arguments outlined in Vinson’s ruling to appeal to the American people’s common sense and demonstrate the exact insanity of Democrats' overreach with ObamaCare. For example, they should liberally quote his statement that if the law’s individual mandate is upheld, then the government has the unlimited power to “mandate that everybody has to eat broccoli each week” and any other product that advances health.
Most importantly, following after Virginia Judge Henry Hudson’s decision, the Florida ruling becomes the second significant case to deem the law unconstitutional, throwing into serious question whether the law will survive judicial scrutiny.
While we wait for the Supreme Court’s final ruling, expected to come down in late 2012, taxpayers are presently being forced to pay for billions of dollars to implement a law that has a great chance of soon becoming void.
Does this make any sense?
Take the politics out of it for a second and consider a relevant analogy: Would your family make a non-refundable deposit on college housing for their child before he/she got accepted into said college?
Of course not. But this likely will not stop the Democrats from trudging forward with ObamaCare.
However, it presents Republicans another powerful opportunity to once again bring this common-sense logic to the American people and simply make the case that at a time when our country faces an unsustainable $14 trillion debt, it would be fiscally prudent to halt the law’s implementation until we hear a final judicial verdict.
Thankfully, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX-8) and Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX-8) have taken the leadership of introducing identical bills to do just that.
It will be interesting to see how more moderate and vulnerable Democratic Senators up for re-election in 2012 vote on the legislation. For example, it is possible for Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) to vote with Senate Republicans given his recent statement that we need to scrap the individual mandate.
Yet, it still isn’t likely the GOP can draw over enough Democrats for a majority, which then brings us to our next policy option: the power of the purse.
In the two upcoming spending votes, first for the remainder of this fiscal year and second for fiscal year 2012, Republicans should fully defund ObamaCare, effectively stopping the law dead in its tracks until the Supreme Court rules.
Unless Senator Harry Reid’s caucus wants to shutdown the government to protect their failed pet experiment, they will have to accept these spending bills to keep federal operations running.
For the next few weeks, the GOP should overlook the fact that opposition to ObamaCare includes 28 states and 58% of the public, and make the common-sense case that in light of two significant rulings of ObamaCare’s unconstitutionally, it would be fiscally prudent to stop spending billions implementing a law that may soon be voided by the Supreme Court.