Government Bytes


Supreme Court Health Care Showdown: Roundup

by Nan Swift / /

Yesterday was the final day for oral arguments in the individual mandate case before the Supreme Court.  Most experts are saying that we can expect a decision in late June, but there’s no reason to rest on our laurels until then.  Just because the Don’t Tread on Me flags are no longer waving in front of the court house doesn’t mean that we don’t need to continue to educate others about what is really in the President’s health care bill and to urge our legislators to repeal it.  Go here to learn how you can take action.

And check out some of the great articles below to see what others are saying about the last three days and what comes next:

Sheldon Richman, “Why the Health Insurance Mandate is Immoral and Unnecessary”

The argument, however, contains a fatal flaw. If the medical-insurance market would indeed fail without a mandate, it’s only because of other mandates the government has already imposed. Thus the government has created the rationale for an extension of its own power.

Anthony Fisher & Damon Root, “Obamacare #FAIL: Day 3 at the Supreme Court”

Washington Free Beacon, “Scalia Likens Reading Obamacare to Cruel and Unusual Punishment”, “Justices to Congress: Back to You”

Chicago Tribune, “Justices Suggest Medicaid Expansion is Unconstitutional”

The Wall Street Journal, “The ObamaCare Reckoning: Overturning the Whole Law Would be an Act of Judicial Restraint”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Mr. Clement is asking the Court to conduct "a wrecking operation," before stating that "the more conservative approach would be salvage rather than throwing out everything." The Obama Administration didn't say exactly that, but it did argue that the mandate is indispensable to its supposedly well-oiled regulatory scheme and if it is thrown out the insurance rules should be too.

But Justice Anthony Kennedy doubted Justice Ginsburg's logic, since by taking out only the individual mandate the Court would in effect be creating a new law that Congress "did not provide for, did not consider." To wit, costs would soar without any mechanism to offset them.

"When you say judicial restraint," Justice Kennedy said, "you are echoing the earlier premise that it increases the judicial power if the judiciary strikes down other provisions of the act. I suggest to you it might be quite the opposite." Overturning the mandate alone, he continued, "can be argued at least to be a more extreme exercise of judicial power than to strike the whole."