John Ransom

The hallmark legislation of the Obama administration, Obamacare, took another body blow when the 11th Circuit Court ruled Friday that the individual mandate requiring adult persons in the U.S. to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional.

Where have we heard that argument before?

While the court didn’t go so far as to declare the entire act void, it effectively scrapped the legislation by denying it the source of its funding. The administration is expected to appeal the ruling, but a final decision will likely come in the U.S. Supreme Court.

A coalition of 26 states, kind of an ad-hoc death panel for Obamacare, is suing the federal government to stop implementation of Obamacare, arguing that key provisions of the act are illegal.

Stopping funding for a federal project favored by the Democrats is like putting a plastic bag over the head of the lobby that favors it. It’ll cut off the fuel and thereby kill it. 

A key argument by the states was that the power to require Americans to purchase a product gives the government unlimited powers to regulate all aspects of someone’s life and is thus unconstitutional.

The 11th Circuit Court seems to agree by a 2-1 margin: “The government’s position amounts to an argument that the mere fact of an individual’s existence substantially affects interstate commerce, and therefore Congress may regulate them at every point of their life.” [My emphasis]

In short, it’s the same old argument liberals always make that the mere ability to pass legislation is more than enough reason to do it, 'cuz "Hey, let's see what's in it.".

Forbes quotes the crux of the argument from the 11th Circuit’s Death Panel thusly: “The federal government’s assertion of power, under the Commerce Clause, to issue an economic mandate for Americans to purchase insurance from a private company for the entire duration of their lives is unprecedented, lacks cognizable limits, and imperils our federalist structure.”

While politically the passage of Obamacare was the biggest legislative accomplishment of the Obama administration, more and more Americans are growing uneasy about the wisdom of the legislation as they “find out what’s in it.”

John Ransom

John Ransom’s writings on politics and finance have appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Colorado Statesman, Pajamas Media and Registered Rep Magazine amongst others. Until 9/11, Ransom worked primarily in finance as an investment executive for NYSE member firm Raymond James and Associates, JW Charles and as a new business development executive at Mutual Service Corporation. He lives in San Diego. You can follow him on twitter @bamransom.