The constitutionality of the 2010 health care law could be determined by the Supreme Court this term, with a decision coming next summer in the thick of the 2012 presidential campaign. The Justice Department said Monday that it had decided not to ask the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta to take up the case. A three-member panel of the court decided 2-1 last month that Congress overstepped its authority in passing the Affordable Care Act, which requires virtually all Americans to obtain health insurance.The vast majority of the American people oppose socialized medicine in the guise of Obamacare. The legal machinery often moves slowly, but a High Court decision (which will probably go 5-4 either way) that upholds Obamacare before the 2012 election could bring out even more voters opposed to the one-size-fits-all mandate. It's also hard to see how a loss at the Court would help the president's reelection prospects either.
Last week, in declaring the law unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Christopher Connor of Pennsylvania (a Bush appointee) determined that Congress exceeded its authority under the Commerce Clause in enacting Obamacare. "Conner concluded that Congress cannot compel individual citizens to buy health insurance as a condition of citizenship. He reasoned that the authority to regulate interstate commerce does not list the ability to order a lifetime financial commitment to buy health insurance." Recently, a three-judge panel at the Fourth Circuit (three of whom were Democrats, two appointed by Obama) dismissed an Obamacare challenge for technical reasons, but without ruling on the merits of the case.
Regardless of how the Supreme Court resolves the conflicting decisions, Obamacare has already failed in its stated mission to bring down costs as Investors Business Daily reports:
Until now, many of the fears about ObamaCare have been theoretical. But this year's 9% spike in premiums is concrete evidence of the substantial harm it's already doing to our health care system.As soon as the Kaiser Family Foundation's annual report on insurance premiums was released, ObamaCare defenders dismissed its most troubling finding: Insurance premiums for family coverage shot up an average $1,482 this year.As far as the effect on the upcoming general election, Prof. Jacobson of Legal Insurrection echoes (but much more eloquently) our feelings stated above:
If the Supreme Court finds the mandate to be unconstitutional, it will deflate Obama’s presidency. In one fell swoop, the entirety of Obama’s agenda will come crashing down. It will be a political and personal humiliation.
If the Supreme Court upholds the mandate, Obama will be able to crow a little, but such a decision will leave the majority of people who hate the law with but one alternative: Throw Obama and Senate Democrats out in November 2012.
A pro-Obamacare ruling prior to the election will motivate the Republican base like nothing else, and will bring the independents along. If you thought the summer of 2009 was hot, just wait until the summer of 2012 if the only way for the nation to get out from under Obamacare is at the ballot box in November.