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Obamacare Gets Thumbs Down by Death Panel

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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.”

In June, a CNN poll showed that more Americans opposed Obamacare than supported it by a landslide margin of 17 percent. A Rasmussen poll in August showed a margin against by 14 points. And it looks like opposition is coming from both Democrats and Republicans.

The Washington Post quotes Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute as saying “One of the striking things about today’s ruling is that, for the first time in one of these cases, a Democrat-appointed judge, Frank Hull, has ruled against the government,” although Shapiro warns that the fight is far from over.

“Supporters of limited constitutional government need to temper their celebrations — just as they wisely tempered their sorrows after the last ruling — because we must all now realize that this will not end until the Supreme Court rules,” Shapiro concluded.  

Progressives ballyhooed the legislation as healthcare reform that would help lower costs and increase coverage. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that while it may increase coverage, costs will skyrocket.

As Townhall’s political editor Guy Benson noted in June, 1 of 3 employers will probably cancel employee coverage by 2014 because of Obamacare. 

A survey by Mercer finds that 55 percent of employers think that their costs will go up as a result of Obamacare, while premiums already continue to rise.

“Rising health care costs are putting a huge financial burden on employers across the country,” says Robert Zirchelbach, a spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, which represents insurers who provide health benefits to some 200 million Americans according to the San Antonio Business Journal. “Rather than help control the rising cost of medical care, the new health care reform law instead imposes billions of dollars in new taxes and benefit mandates and will significantly increase the cost of coverage for employers and their employees.”

It’s just another example of the Obama administration passing laws that don’t even attempt to solve actual problems faced by the American people, but rather try to take advantage of problems faced by the American people by passing legislation that increases the reach of the federal government regardless of the consequences to personal liberty.

Hopefully Obamacare will meet with more death panels in the future.

See more top stories from Townhall Finance, new home page, more columns, more news:

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