Taxpayers all across the nation scored perhaps the biggest victory so far against ObamaCare last Friday, as the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled that the individual mandate portion of the bill was unconstitutional.
We still have a long way to go before the court battles are over, but taxpayers scored a big victory when the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the individual mandate portion of ObamaCare exceeds the authority of the Interstate Commerce Clause in the Constitution. Ironically, President Bill Clinton appointed one of the judges ruling against the Obama Administration. The other was an appointee of President George H. W. Bush.
The ruling was not a complete success due to the court’s decision to overturn a lower court’s ruling that the entire bill was unconstitutional. But, as Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott explained in Hour 4 of the KJBJ Morning Show in Austin Monday morning, it’s still great news. He said during the debate, Department of Justice officials argued that the law becomes unenforceable and unfundable without the individual mandate, effectively killing the law in its entirety even if just the mandate was overturned.
Abbott also explained that because another appeals court upheld the law, the Supreme Court is now expected to take up the case in its next term starting in October, leading to an announced decision in June 2012. It could be as late as June 2013, however, if the DOJ first asks for a ruling by all of the judges on the 11th Circuit.
Getting this to the Supreme Court has been the goal of the coalition of states seeking to overturn ObamaCare, and it certainly won’t look good for the Obama Administration if they are forced to defend such an unpopular law so closely to the general election. But don’t make the mistake of assuming we’ve already won. Despite having a majority of Republican-appointed justices on the court, Anthony Kennedy is considered the “swing-vote”, frequently voting with both the conservative and liberal blocs of justices.
Of course, the best way to reverse ObamaCare is still for Congress to repeal it, completely ensuring all the hidden taxes and fees former Speaker Nancy Pelosi couldn’t find until the bill was passed are completely off the books. Prospects of a repeal today are bleak, given the democratically controlled Senate and White House, but in 2012 all bets are off. You’ll have the ability to fire your incumbents by electing true conservatives who pledge to repeal it and support meaningful healthcare reform, such as the Health Care Compact.
The Health Care Compact was passed by Texas this legislative session, joining Oklahoma, Missouri and Georgia in asking Congress for approval to have primary responsibility for the regulation of non-military healthcare in their respective state. Several other states have legislation pending to join the compact. You can find them at the Health Care Compact website, along with a more thorough explanation of how the compact works.