The judicial fall out from the health care has begun. A federal judge in Michigan has ruled the Obamacare legislation, which forces individuals by Congressional mandate to purchase health care, Constitutional:
President Barack Obama won the first round in the legal battle over the healthcare reform act after a federal judge in Michigan ruled that the lawâ€™s â€œindividual mandateâ€ requiring people to buy health insurance is constitutional.
But Judge George Steeh ruled that â€œthe Commerce Clause affords Congress broad power to regulate even purely local matters that have substantial economic effects,â€ finding that â€œby choosing to forgo insurance plaintiffs are making an economic decision to try to pay for healthcare services later, out of pocket, rather than now through the purchase of insurance, collectively shifting billions of dollars, $43 billion in 2008, onto other market participants,â€ according to court documents.
â€œIn 2014, the Act will bar insurers from refusing to cover individuals with pre-existing conditions and from setting eligibility rules based on health status or claims experience. At that time, all Americans will be insurable. Without the minimum coverage provision, there would be an incentive for some individuals to wait to purchase health insurance until they needed care, knowing that insurance would be available at all times,â€ Steeh wrote. â€œThe uninsured, like plaintiffs, benefit from the â€˜guaranteed issueâ€™ provision in the Act, which enables them to become insured even when they are already sick. This benefit makes imposing the minimum coverage provision appropriate.â€
Source: Med City News
Judge Napolitano, of Fox News, disagrees with the Constitutionality of the insurance requirements, stating that the Michigan judge may have determined the provision is appropriate by Commerce Clause standards, but not the rest of the Constitution. According to Napolitano, the Michigan judge is using a “very expansive theory of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution which basically says Congress can regulate any activity, which when added up alongside of similar activities, would have an effect on interstate commerce.” According to Napolitano, the judge “did that without ever specifically addressing the issue of whether or not Congress can force you to purchase health care.”
The notion that the judicial branch of the United States can rule in favor of Congress forcing an individual citizen to purchase a specific product or service is a dangerous one, and will reverberate for decades, if not centuries to come.
If President Obama’s health care legislation is eventually found to be Constitutional, the precedent will have been set. At that point, there will be no limit to what the government of the United States can force the people to do in matters of commerce and personal consumption.
Watch Judge Napolitano: