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A federal judge in Virginia has ruled that the individual mandate requirement in Obamacare is unconstitutional:
Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal circuit court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market.
This of course is not over — and it won’t be until decided on by the Supreme Court of the United States. Hopefully by the time that happens, the new GOP majority in Congress will help to repeal this monstrosity before the court ever even hears it.
Here is Gov. Rick Perry’s response:
Today’s court decision on the federal health care bill is promising news for Texans and all Americans, who have had enough of the ongoing federal intrusion into their lives, and who reject this one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with health care.
The federal government’s attempt to force every American to buy government-approved health insurance is an egregious violation of our Constitutional rights. The 10th Amendment and individual liberties must be protected, and I am committed to fighting the overreach of Obamacare and challenging these unconstitutional mandates, which have gone far beyond both the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Watching the WH press briefing. Robert Gibbs just went Orwellian, describing the mandate as “individual responsibility,” as opposed to the mandate/tax/penalty that it is. “Individual responsibility” seems to be their new sales line — he just used it again. Watch for that phrase in ongoing WH comms on ObamaCare.
This obviously an effort to soften ObamaCare, but it shouldn’t fool anyone. It’s a tax, one which puts the IRS inside the health care decision loop, and can result in Americans going to jail for the crime of not purchasing health insurance.
It is interesting how the politics of the mandate have come back to haunt the administration. Because Obama did not want to be seen as raising taxes on people making under $250,000, during the debate and drafting the Democrats went out of their way to disavow the mandate as a tax, and to rely on the Commerce Clause. After the mandate was challenged in court, the administration tried to backtrack and justify the mandate under the general taxing power. But the Judge did not accept that flip-flop, ruling that the congressional record and text of the legislation prevailed.
Hey, remember when conservatives objected to the Obamacare federal individual mandate on constitutional grounds and the liberal establishment laughed.
Liberal Taylor Marsh has a fair assessment:
The individual mandate has always been a loser without a public option. It’s the worst aspect of the Affordable Care Act, which has very important elements that benefit people, but ultimately pushes them into an insurance industry maze without true competition or options.
The individual mandate has always been about cost, especially when pre-existing illnesses are covered, something that is important to health equity…Now Democrats are squealing about this, but the fact is the way it’s been constructed in the ACA it’s anything but democratic.
Much more at Memeorandum.