However you feel about HCR (and there’s a lot of it I don’t particularly care for,) the argument based on the individual mandate was thin.
It was so thin, in fact, that the notoriously right wing 6th District Court of Appeals has tossed it.
And the opinion tossing it was written by people who don’t pull their opinions from Mao’s Little Red Book.
The Rushpubliscums failed to repeal it. No one likes their notion of “replacing” it, which amounts to even less regulation on the predatory private insurance regime. And now, they’ve been dealt a serious blow in the Courts.
It seems to me that maybe it’s time for the Rushpubliscums to face reality on this one. Hopefully they’ll come around to reality on a few other issues as well.
In another legal win for the Affordable Care Act, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. The ruling is online here (pdf).
It is the first federal appellate bench to rule on the constitutionality of the reform law.
It’s worth appreciating the fact that the outcome today was by no means assured. The 6th Circuit is considered one of the nation’s more conservative appellate benches, and one of the judges who upheld the constitutionality of the ACA was Judge Jeffrey Sutton, a nominee of George W. Bush, and a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Indeed, Sutton, a Federalist Society veteran, has been described as “one of the nation’s leading advocates for conservative states-rights positions.”
Far-right activists hoped, and many assumed, Sutton would be a key ally in overturning the law. He was not. Indeed, he is the first federal judge to consider the legality of the ACA on the merits who “broke ranks” — that is, a conservative judge who sided with the Obama administration’s position.
From the ruling, of which Sutton was a part:
“By regulating the practice of self-insuring for the cost of health care delivery, the minimum coverage provision is facially constitutional under the Commerce Clause for two independent reasons. First, the provision regulates economic activity that Congress had a rational basis to believe has substantial effects on interstate commerce. In addition, Congress had a rational basis to believe that the provision was essential to its larger economic scheme reforming the interstate markets in health care and health insurance.”
Of course it is Constitutional. If ever there was a better example of interstate commerce that will affect every one of us, I don’t know what it is. The Rushpubliscums were hoping that their activist judges would step up to the plate, but by all appearances some of them have actually read the Constitution and know how to interpret it.
They can still rip it to shreds in front of the 5 hacks of the SCOTUS, of course, especially since “Uncle” Thomas has so much money riding on it. But Kennedy is an off/on hack, so their success in that venue is by no means assured.
It would be lovely if we had an “opposition” party that knew some road other than “my way or no way.” Maybe then we could have an honest discussion of this issue, and come to some real solutions for a problem that is strangling the American economy and killing tens of thousands of Americans every year. But as long as the Rushpubliscum Party is infested with Kreepy Klanbagger Kochroaches, we’re not going to get past where we are, right here and right now.