Obamacare Found Unconstitutional

A Virginia judge found the mandate that all Americans purchase healthcare insurance or pay a fine unconstitutional today.  Most people who are against Obamacare are calling this a victory, and it is, although it is a small victory.  The fight over the nationalizing of the healthcare industry is far from over. 

At the base of the judge’s decision is the interstate commerce clause.  No other clause in the Constitution has probably been more bastardized than this clause.  It is used by politicians looking to pull more private business into government control.  You see, if the government decides that interstate commerce will be affected by a given piece of legislation, they point to the Constitution and say “It’s legal.”  Except that maybe it’s not. 

The original intent of this clause was to promote commerce between states, not to take control of any product or service that COULD be sold across state lines.  This statute, in article 1 section 8 of the Constitution basically says that the federal government has power to regulate commerce with other nations and between states, and with indian tribes.  This power is to be used to strike treaties and the like.  The Obamacare bill certainly does that.  Especially the “regulate” part.  However, the clause does not specifically grand the federal government the power to determine what products and services you are required to buy.  According to answers.com (http://www.answers.com/topic/commerce-clause), the clause has been used in a large number of suits to determine that the government does have the power to control industries, even within states, when the issue within the state can affect the industry between states.  It was used for railroad regulation, antitrust legislation, and control farms, production of sugar and other goods, and other businesses.

The progressives in government used the commerce clause in this way on many occasions.  The US Supreme Court has found that, depending on who is on the Court, the commerce clause allows federal government expansion into private businesses. 

It’s kind of funny to me that Obamacare did nothing to promote the sale of health insurance across state lines.  If it did, the commerce clause would apply.  Not only that, but it would actually LOWER the cost of the insurance, which Obama told us was the point of all this.  But I digress.

The Obamacare mandate is equal to the government telling you that you have to buy a car made in Michigan, or pay a fine.  Or that you have to buy fruit grown in Nebraska, or face the monetary consequences. 

Not only that, but if this bill is allowed to take effect, the government will mandate food choices, exercise options, and other parts of your life that the government has no part in regulating.  The government, and the government alone, will determine who gets what care and on what timeline.  After all, your heatlh affects interstate commerce, so the government will have to regulate you.  Your intake of Big Macs will be measured.  Your mileage on your exercise bike will be inspected by federal health police.  And if you don’t measure up, so to speak, you will be denied care.  Unless you can pay for it, of course, and then only if you can get in behind the Mexicans in line ahead of you before you contract pneumonia and die. 

This bill starts several new beaureaucracies that have the sole purpose of administrating healthcare insurance.  These beareaucracies will certainly be inefficient, slow, and make bad decisions based on rules made up by the head beaureaucrat.  If you have a condition that doesn’t fit in the box prescribed by the law, you don’t get care.  That’s how the government does business. 

Look, I understand that in a country where our poor have big screen TV’s and cell phones, there must be a way to make sure they can get quality health care.  And there is.  Open up sale of health insurance across state lines.  More choices means more competitive prices.  Government regulation of price always means less product, a product of lower quality, because the company providing the product has to cut costs to make money at the artificially imposed price. 

I wonder.  If Obamacare passes, does that mean that government requirements on businesses to have workmen’s compensation insurance will go away?   If you are hurt on the job, you have health insurance.  Why should your business be required to pay huge sums of money to make sure you can see a doctor if you twist your ankle on the job?  It might be good for business if this requirement were lifted.  And the government controls the price of this insurance. 

That’s right.  Workmen’s compensation insurance is a pool.  Private companies are required, by law, to write insurance on a business when their turn comes up.  The price and coverage are all the same.  So, the only difference is the company writing the policy.  These policies pay nothing in commision to the insurance agents who write them, the paperwork to put one of these policies in force is ridiculous, and a business typically can’t finance this insurance like you can on your car or home.  Government rules say so.  Figuring out what protection class (that’s how insurance people determine what you do and what the risk is to the insurance company) can be difficult.  If a guy builds sheds, but puts roofs on them, he is classified as a roofer, which is the about the most expensive policy you can get. 

This is what we have to look forward to.  If you get some weird disease that doesn’t fit into the class assigned by the government, you will just be out of luck.  Just like our friend who builds sheds.  If he can’t afford the premium, he can’t work.  Oh, well.  What’s one more unemployed American these days. 

The intent of the commerce clause was to allow the federal government to regulate commerce between the states when the states were silent.  Like driving cattle or operating the railroad.  Both of these industries played a big part in American expansion to the west, and in linking Americans from New York to San Fransisco.  I understand the use of the clause in these instances.  The health and survival of the country were at stake. 

Now it’s just the survival and health of the people at stake.  And the government won’t do a good job protecting yours.  Not as good of a job as you would, along with your doctor. 

There will be appeals.  And the US Supreme Court will once again hear a commerce clause argument, if Obama has the guts to pursue this issue on those grounds.  He said that this was a commerce clause thing at first, then said it was a taxation thing when he realized that the government couldn’t tell you that you have to buy something.  But it’s not a tax.  Depending on which cameras are on or what courtroom you happen to be in.  Either way, this bill is bad and should be repealed. 

Maybe when the Republicans come in after the first of the year, they will be able to get this idea on the right track. 

But I’m not holding my breath.  If I did, I might pass out and hit my head. 

That may not be covered.


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