Is the health care law toast?

2010/12/13

Many, many moons ago, before I got off on my months-long nostalgic tangent about a 30-year-old movie, I opened this blog with a critique of the then-not-quite-passed health care reform law.

My chief objections then were that:

  • A) Key congressional votes had to be extorted;
  • B) The truly indigent and uninsured STILL won’t be covered;
  • C) It treats abortion as essential health care; and
  • D) It’s fiscally irresponsible. Since then, I’ve added one more objection to the list, which I only mentioned in passing before but has risen to the top: the mandated health insurance requirement forcing everyone to get insurance whether they want it or not.

I can’t stress enough how much I hate that aspect of the law or how great a slippery slope it could represent in the wrong government’s hands. The feds can force its citizens to buy private products? Really?

One might argue we’ve been doing it for years with automobile insurance. But the distinction there is that we’re using public roads built, paid for and maintained by the government. Our health care system isn’t like that (yet).

Despite a large and vocal majority of Americans being opposed to the reform effort, the Democratic majority in Congress passed the massive law virtually without formal debate or even the slightest concession to the opposition party. That was a mistake that not only cost Democrats in this fall’s midterm elections, but it may cost them the law itself.

Around noon today, a Virginia judge ruled the law’s mandate to buy coverage as unconstitutional. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but in the rush to pass this huge law, its writers neglected to add a common clause allowing parts of the law to be struck or repealed while retaining the whole.

Therefore, by (correctly, in my opinion) striking the mandate unconstitutional, the whole 2000+ page law may be unconstitutional.

Back in March, I wrote this:

“The nation’s gone long enough without meaningful health reform that it’s simply good sense to do it right with relative baby steps instead of doing it wrong all at once and spending the next generation trying to fix the mistake we made.”

It turns out I was right, though not in the way I expected. The Democrats didn’t do their due diligence. They did a rush job in the dark and overlooked something important in their desperately overreaching reform effort.

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