Constitutionally Unhealthy 'Reform'; Obamacare's Legal Flaws Are Critical to the Debate
Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Far too many congressmen underestimate the political ramifications of passing a health care bill that may be unconstitutional. Far too few of them seem to understand why Obamacare's constitutionality is seriously in doubt.
Consider the special Medicaid deal the Senate bill provided for Nebraska in order to buy the vote of Ben Nelson, that state's senior senator. At least 13 state attorneys general last week announced plans to challenge the provision, which effectively would exempt Nebraska from paying for Medicaid expansions that the other 49 states must finance. Democrats should not scoff at this threat. The provision is patently unfair to the other 49 states. Worse, it seems to run afoul of Article I, Section 8, which gives Congress the power to provide for the .. general welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States Clearly, Nebraska's sweetheart deal is not for the general welfare, nor is the financial contribution uniform if one state is exempt.
Then consider the Obamacare provision mandating that every individual buy health insurance. As a candidate, Barack Obama wisely opposed an individual mandate, but his pledge proved worthless. Yet numerous legal analysts challenge the mandate's constitutionality. Last July, the Congressional Research Service explained why: One could argue that while regulation of the health insurance industry or the health care system could be considered economic activity [subject to congressional authority], regulating a choice to purchase health insurance is not. It may also be questioned whether a requirement to purchase health insurance is really a [legitimate] regulation of an economic activity or enterprise. …