Obamacare Passes Constitutional Muster

That’s a surprise; I expected CJ Roberts to vote to strike down the Affordable Health Care Act. I guess he’s more of a switch hitter than I thought.

The Court upheld the Affordable Healthcare Act’s individual mandate not under the Commerce Clause — it acknowledges that not doing something can have no effect on commerce — but under the Taxing Clause.

This is really weird to say, but I actually agree with the dissent on this (although it’s a rare case that I agree with the conservative end of the bench on). Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Kennedy write in the dissent, “The principal practical obstacle that prevents Congress from using the tax-and-spend power to assume all the general-welfare responsibilities traditionally exercised by the States is the sheer impossibility of managing a Federal Government large enough to administer such a system. That obstacle can be overcome by granting funds to the States, allowing them to administer the program. That is fair and constitutional enough when the States freely agree to have their powers employed and their employees enlisted in the federal scheme. But it is a blatant violation of the constitutional structure when the States have no choice.

“The Act before us here exceeds federal power both in
mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying nonconsenting States all Medicaid funding.”

While this Act may benefit millions by requiring health insurance for all (and by providing an affordable option, paid through taxes, for those who cannot afford private insurance), I’m not sure this is really the way to go. I don’t think we can afford the fiscal cost of insuring millions through the federal system under this program, and I disagree with the new taxes and the new limitations in quantity and quality we face in healthcare.

Socialized medicine, here we come. Let’s look to England for our model (we all know how — um — successful English healthcare is…).