Come On Guys, The Individual Mandate Isn't So Bad!

Helen Whalen Cohen
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Posted: Oct 08, 2010 4:45 PM
...says Judge Steeh, of the US District Court of Eastern Michigan, as he dismissed the Thomas More Law Center's challenge to the individual mandate.

The factual background reads like an ObamaCare sales pitch:
"Integral to the legislative effort to lower the cost of health insurance, expand coverage, and reduce uncompensated care is the so called minimum coverage provision which requires that every United States citizen, other than those falling within specified exceptions, maintain “minimum essential coverage” for health care for each month beginning in the year 2014. If an individual fails to comply with this requirement, the Act imposes a penalty to be included with a taxpayer’s return."
Sounds like Judge Steeh didn't read any of the CBO reports released after the bill was passed.

What's more disturbing about this opinion is the dismissal of Commerce Clause arguments. The judge cites Wickard v. Fillburn and Gonzales v. Raich to argue that Congress can regulate economic behavior. Never mind that previous Commerce Clause decisions dealt with regulating economic activity, not purposeful inactivity. If this decision were to set a precedent, it would mean that Congress could decide that any of our personal decisions could be penalized because of the effect on the national economy.

Fortunately, that won't happen right now. This ruling only pertains to Michigan, so Judge Steeh cannot foist the individual mandate on the rest of us. Once these health care lawsuits head to the Supreme Court, though...