What’s more, the judge said the entire health care reform bill would be invalid if higher courts upheld his decision. While the health care bill remains in force pending hearings, this is the second time a court has challenged it. This puts everyone in health care in the bizarre situation of having to implement a law that may be found unconstitutional.
Judge Vinson held that the insurance requirement exceeds the regulatory powers granted to Congress under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Judge Vinson wrote that the provision could not be rescued by an associated clause in Article I that gives Congress broad authority to make laws “necessary and proper” to carrying out its designated responsibilities.
“If Congress can penalize a passive individual for failing to engage in commerce, the enumeration of powers in the Constitution would have been in vain,” Judge Vinson wrote.
My own view is the mandatory requirement was both idiotic because it was certain to be challenged and also unfairly gouges the poor, who most likely don’t have insurance because they can’t afford it. Yet they now have to somehow pay for it or be penalized. Yuck. The Adminstration argument that the poor will wait until they are sick to get insurance seems nearly insulting and ignores the obvious. People generally don’t have insurance because they can’t afford it, not because they’re cheap or trying to game the system.