President Obama and Congressional Democrats have had some disappointing court rulings in regards to their cornerstone Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). In December 2010, Henry E. Hudson, a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, ruled neither the Supreme Court nor any federal circuit court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market. At its core, the dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance — or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage — it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate.
[media-credit id=20118 align=”alignnone” width=”206″][/media-credit]Most recently, District Judge Roger Vinson ordered that “Obamacare” violated the commerce clause by requiring Americans to buy insurance as part of the health overhaul passed last year, and said the entire law “must be declared void.” The reason for these rulings is easy to explain, however it’s important to dig deeper into the fiscal ramifications of the PPACA and liberal reactions to the law’s future after this courts ruling.
Conservatives don’t disagree with the PPACA because we want people to have inadequate access to healthcare or to force people into bankruptcy in order to pay for their medical costs. Instead, the conservative opposition has to do more with the values our country was founded on and endure today. Simply put, the PPACA disagrees with community values of the United States. The necessary trade-off between an individual’s liberty to purchase health care and the security health care provides is too great. The idea that people can be coerced to purchase a good or service by penalty of imprisonment and fines sounds foreign to most Americans and, consequently, they’re opposed to any law that infringes so aggressively on their liberty.
Second, conservatives are concerned about the fiscal ramifications of the PPACA. Even though the Congressional Budget Office originally ruled that the national deficient would decrease by $143 billion, the artificial rules under which the CBO must score proposed legislation cannot produce the best unbiased forecasts of the likely fiscal impact of any legislation. This is illustrated by the federal budget regarding Medicare. The CBO initially stated the bill “substantially reduces the growth of Medicare’s payment rates for most services; imposes an excise tax on insurance plans with relatively high premiums; and makes various other changes to the federal tax code, Medicare, Medicaid and other programs.” However, CBO was required to exclude from its initial estimates the effects of concurrent “doc fix” legislation that would increase Medicare payments by more than $200 billion from 2010-19.
The next step for PPACA is the Supreme Court. It will be interesting to see what happens as a result of Judge Vincent’s ruling, declaring the law null and void. The White House is saying that the Florida judge who ruled against Obamacare is a judicial activist. Why? Because he disagreed with something President Obama and Congress wanted? The liberals are going to try and pretend the ruling never happened because it didn’t go their way. They are deliberately disregarding the Constitution, the federal courts and the American people by not following the federal judge’s ruling. How “uncivil” of them.