State of Florida, et al. v. Obamacare

Yesterday, United States District Court Judge Roger Vinson heard oral arguments in the case brought by Florida and nineteen other states challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare’s requirement that all obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.  Of course, the federal government is now calling it a tax, not a penalty when arguing its constitutionality, but that is beside the point here.

I thought you might be interested in some of the judge’s remarks during the argument.  On the issue of whether Congress had the power to legislate this mandate under the interstate commerce clause, the court said,

It would be a giant leap for the Supreme Court to say that a decision to buy or not to buy is tantamount to activity…

Certainly the federal government can regulate when someone decides to engage in interstate commerce, but it seems that the judge has a problem with calling the simple decision of whether or not to engage in interstate commerce “an activity”.

An even more interesting discussion happened when the federal government’s attorney argued that the uninsured don’t pay for their health care, so that cost is spread among those who are insured.  Thus, requiring everyone to have insurance solves this problem.  The judge took issue with this by explaining that,

he was uninsured in law school when his son was born, and joked that the delivery bill came to about $100 per pound. “I paid it,” [said the judge].

Ouch, be careful you know the judge’s background before you advance an argument.

And, when Florida’s attorney argued that if it was constitutional for the federal government to require that all buy insurance, what else could they do, the judge said,

[i]f they decide that everyone needs to eat broccoli,” then the commerce clause could allow Congress to require everyone to buy a certain quantity of broccoli…

A decision is expected early next year. 

What will be very interesting, though, is how the court deals with the severability issue.  Absent the individual mandate, Obamacare will mean the death of private insurance on a much faster pace than will otherwise most assuredly occur.

6 replies
  1. GdavidH
    GdavidH says:

    Thanks SOS for keeping us informed with not only knowledge but also with wealth of your experience. Keep up the good work for the benefit of all America.

  2. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    That judge, what a funny guy!! I wonder if it it's still $100/pound. This really advances the discussion about how to pay for health care. We all should go to law school and hope to become judges.

  3. winnie888
    winnie888 says:

    Obamacare has turned into such an epic nightmare…In two years Obama and his congress have pretty much dismantled the U.S. health care system as we once knew it.  Doctors are retiring before they ever planned to, not to mention the number of medical practices that no longer accept medicare patients.  The gov. is allowing certain companies exemptions and only around 8,000 of the 50 million w/out insurance have clamored for O-Care.  Please, I just can't stand it anymore. It was a bad joke from the start.

  4. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Thanks, SOS, again we need to never let down and fight this with every tool we have. As Dims says, don't fund it!

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