Health Care Hangover: Now What?

Obama signs the dreaded Health Care Bill (HR3590) on the dotted line Tuesday and then begins a fist-pumping  nationwide victory lap. (Patriots sigh.)

It is hard to grasp that our country is in a constitutional crisis unlike any time in our history. We don’t want to believe it, because it is a frightening prospect. We aren’t sure whether to believe it, because it would seem something so important should be carried morning, noon, and night on all the media.

But pause to think: How did it happen that Fidel Castro became dictator of Cuba? How did Hitler become the Fuehrer of Nazi Germany? How did Hugo Chavez take over Venezuela? Wasn’t anyone paying attention? Well, actually, all these guys were their countries’ media “darlings” before the constitutions hit the fan. 

So assuming we have a legal/constitutional crisis underway, what do we do? There is pushback in several forms:

11 states are preparing lawsuits to challenge the legality and/or constitutionality of the national health care bill.

(If you have the misfortune of living in a state with a Democrat attorney general, well, you are probably screwed. But Californians, you are so screwed in so many ways already, you are verging on hopelessness anyway.) 

Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett reviewed the various forms of legal challenges under consideration for the Washington Post a few days ago. Read the whole story here.  

To summarize him: 

Nullification: All this talk you might have heard about the 10th amendment power whereby states can “nullify” any federal law from being enforced within its boundaries will NOT work, according to the professor.  

Individual rights: What about the idea (being utilized by the 11 states mentioned above) that we cannot be mandated by the federal government to buy or join a national health insurance plan? Barnett thinks the commerce clause MAY allow such a mandate.

State Constitutional Bans: What might work, according to Barnett, is for each state to pass a new state constitutional amendment to outlaw a federal health insurance plan within its boundaries.

Repeal of bill: Then of course, Congress could try to REPEAL the national health care bill. The Weekly Standard and National Review are calling for repeal. That’s a nice thought by them but not very well-researched. Legislation is being prepared and there is a very slim chance of success. (Read why here.)  

My thought on all of the above, however is this: Go ahead and have the states’ attorneys general file away. Hogtie the new law in many jurisdictions. Make a huge, messy legal clustercluck all over the country. Get injunctions to prohibit any enforcement of the national health care plan until next January when we hopefully have a new deck of cards in Washington. Then figure out a way to amend it or continue to enjoin enforcement. That is relying on a lot of IFs. This sucks. 

In the meantime: Hey Barry!

Now that we have national health care, where’s our $2,500 per family reduction in health insurance premium?

We’re waiiiiiiiiiiiting…..(crickets chirping)


All of this vitriol and hand wringing over a small health insurance tweak?  Me thinks you protest too much.

The only real problem with the bill is the requirement that citizens pay money to the "for profit" health insurance companies, who's primary objective is profit, and such profit is made by not paying for health care.  Corporate health insurance companies are embedded with all of the wrong incentives.  Now that IS rotten.

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