For those of you that read my blog on a weekly basis mostly to get your dander up, I will not disappoint you this week. To get right to the point, plain and simple, the newly passed “Obamacare” health care reform legislation is unconstitutional on many levels and Republicans if they have any political principles at all will run this November on a platform promising to repeal the measure in its entirety.
However, they may be saved from this act of unusual courage on their part if state attorneys general have their way. Already, there are lawsuits filed by 14 states against the law. The suits rightly state that, "The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage." This argument before any court should be enough to at least invalidate that portion of the law. And if that portion is struck down then the financing mechanism for making the law somewhat viable is removed and the scheme falls flat on its face.
The states have chosen the portion of the new law that will give them the greatest chance of success in the courts. After all, it was deemed necessary at the beginning of the last century to pass an amendment to the Constitution allowing Washington to collect income taxes from Americans. How come an amendment is not required for Washington to order Americans to pay for health insurance?
But, there are also many other constitutional arguments that can be leveled against “Obamacare”. Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution enumerates 18 specific powers granted to Congress. Healthcare is not one of them and as a matter of fact the responsibility for regulating the industry has historically fallen to states. States license doctors, hospitals, and have insurance commissions responsible for regulating rates and services. Of course, liberal interpreters of the Constitution will point out that there are two clauses in that same section which support their view that Congress has nearly unlimited powers when it comes to providing for the well-being of Americans.