Chuck Norris
President Barack Obama's pride-and-joy health care reform law (aka the Affordable Care Act of 2010) suffered a super setback last Friday, when an appeals court ruled that it is unconstitutional to penalize Americans who do not purchase medical insurance.

Reuters reported, "The U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, ruled 2 to 1 that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring Americans to buy coverage, but it unanimously reversed a lower court decision that threw out the entire law."

Do you hear angels singing, too?

Of course, it ain't over until the Supreme Court sings a similar judgment. It is upon the high court's voice that the legality of the individual mandate ultimately hinges, and the court will decide whether it will be placed upon the already burdened backs of Americans in 2014. And the Supreme Court's ruling could be handed down a few months before the November 2012 presidential election.

The White House wasted no time in denouncing Friday's federal court ruling: "We strongly disagree with this decision and we are confident it will not stand."

The White House loves to cite how a few other courts have upheld Obama's health care law. But last week's ruling was the first time a Democratic-appointed judge ruled against a critical aspect of Obamacare.

The president knows everything rides on the perpetuity of Obamacare's individual mandate. Without it, the entire law collapses. So Obama adviser Stephanie Cutter reiterated in the White House response the administration's same weak defense and rhetoric in hopes of sparing what the president calls the "individual responsibility provision."

First, she wrote, "The Congressional Budget Office estimated that only 1 percent of all Americans would pay a penalty for not having health insurance in 2016."

But how can the government-instituted CBO project the number of Americans who in some way will renege on Obamacare in 2016? If citizens can't afford to buy medical insurance in 2016, what makes the feds think they can afford to pay a penalty for not having it? What are the feds going to do then, throw the economically downtrodden in jail? Who is going to pay for the incarceration of 1 percent of society, or roughly 3.5 million potential new inmates?

Though the CBO says only 1 percent will pay penalties, you can bet that 100 percent will pay for this mammoth health care reform law one way or another via taxes and trickledown costs for employer mandates, Medicaid expansions, tax credits for uninsured, funding grants for states, additional government personnel, etc.

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris is a columnist and impossible to kill.