Saturday, August 13, 2011

Atlanta Appeals Court Finds Obamacare Unconstitutional

Another setback for socialized medicine:
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled that the health care reform law’s requirement that nearly all Americans buy insurance is unconstitutional, a striking blow to the legislation that increases the odds the Supreme Court will choose to review the law.

The suit was brought by 26 states — nearly all led by Republican governors and attorneys general — and the National Federation of Independent Business. The Department of Justice is expected to appeal.

The 2-1 ruling marks the first time a judge appointed by a Democrat has voted to strike down the mandate. Judge Frank Hull, who was nominated by former President Bill Clinton, joined Chief Judge Joel Dubina, who was appointed by George H.W. Bush, to strike down the mandate.
Since the original legislation has no severability clause (i.e., that would allow some parts of it to go forward but not others), the Supreme Court will ultimately have to decide whether the law can indeed stand without the individual mandate.

One practical issue apart from the constitutional questions (that is sometimes lost in the shuffle) is that the individual mandate would be one-size-fits-all (effectively prohibiting high deductible or cafeteria plans), thereby resulting in increased premiums for everyone.

Separately, the administration lost another round in federal court in connection with oil exploration rules:
A judge on Friday threw out Obama administration rules that sought to slow down expedited environmental review of oil and gas drilling on federal land. U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal ruled in favor of a petroleum industry group, the Western Energy Alliance, in its lawsuit against the federal government, including Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. The ruling reinstates Bush-era expedited oil and gas drilling under provisions called categorical exclusions on federal lands nationwide, Freudenthal said.

Would You Believe The Wisconsin Unions Still Don't Get It?

If anyone out there remembers the TV series Get Smart (not the awful 2008 Steve Carell movie remake), one of the signature catch phrases of Maxwell Smart (Don Adams) was "Would you believe..."?)

As it relates to Wisconsin's greedy public sector unions, Maxwell Smart might ask "Would you believe that after failing to stop the budget and collective bargaining reforms, unions would try and fail to defeat Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, and then fail to gain control of the state senate in the recall elections after spending $30 million according to some estimates?"

Yet, despite being 0 for 3, Big Labor is still claiming it will try to recall Gov. Scott Walker next year.

Yes, you would find that hard to believe!

As the Hillbuzz website explains:
Already, Governor Walker’s reforms pertaining to the public sector unions have saved Wisconsin millions — and in some districts have rescued budgets from the red, eliminating the need for layoffs.
Democrats and the labor unions are tied at the hip, as one cannot exist without the other, and both need as much tax money funneled into the Democrat Party as possible to survive.

From The Wall Street Journal:
In the six months since Governor Scott Walker introduced his reforms, Big Labor and Democrats have tried to make the Badger State a national demonstration that some political lines can't be crossed. Union power, once granted, is sacrosanct. Even President Obama denounced Mr. Walker. The legislative brawl consumed Madison in European-style protests and turned a judicial election into a national spectacle before the law was upheld by the state supreme court. On Tuesday, voters delivered another verdict, favoring Republicans in four of six state senate recall elections and keeping the GOP in the majority...
Part of the Democratic problem is that their predictions of calamity haven't come true. The Walker reforms have given local school districts the ability to renegotiate union contracts and save money, preventing teacher layoffs. In such communities as Ashland, Kimberly, Baraboo and Appleton, officials were able to dump union-affiliated health insurance plans in favor of cost-saving private competitors.
[As an aside, one of the few, if any, useful things ever said on NBC's The Apprentice reality show was that the best leader doesn't necessarily need the loudest voice.]

Here is Gov. Walker on MSNBC: