Breaking news from Michelle and Jim: A Florida federal judge has ruled that Obamacare, is unconstitutional. Specifically, the judge Roger Vinson ruled that the ‘individual mandate’, forcing US citizens to buy health insurance by 2014 or face penalties, exceeds the limits set by the constitution on the powers of congress.
Vinson rejects the administration’s argument that the health care market is unique since nobody can truly opt out–and that not buying insurance is in itself an economic activity since the cost of care then falls on others. Vinson mocks this argument, writing: “Everyone must participate in the food market… under this logic, Congress could [mandate] that every adult purchase and consume wheat bread daily.” If they didn’t buy wheat bread they might have a bad diet which would put a strain on the health care system, he writes.
Later he offers another analogy: “Congress could require that everyone above a certain income threshold buy a General Motors automobile — now partially government-owned — because those who do not buy GM cars (or those who buy foreign cars) are adversely impacting commerce and a taxpayer-subsidized business.” Vinson concludes: “The individual mandate exceeds Congress’ commerce power, as it is understood, defined, and applied in the existing Supreme Court case law.”
This cannot be described other then as a major setback for the Obama administration. As one of the commenters on the Gateway observes: ‘You’ve ruined the lives of tens of thousands of Americans, you’ve spent trillions of dollars that we didn’t have, you’ve ignored or worked against the interest of American foreign policy for two years……. And what do you have to show for it? Resign!’. Obamacare, with its huge projected costs, its death panels and all that other goodness in the 2,700 page bill, seems to be the definition of an ‘epic fail’. And it still has a vote to repeal in the US senate to look forward to.