Friday, August 12, 2011

Appellate court declares Obamacare's individual mandate unconstitutional

The 11th circuit has declared Obamacare's individual mandate to be unconstitutional. I've thought it to be unconstitutional from the beginning; Congress has the power to "regulate interstate commerce," but that does not give them the power to force people to engage in commerce by buying health insurance. A state-level health care plan (like the one that has already been implemented in Massachusetts) would still be OK, though. It seems to me that the states that want universal health care should implement similar plans and leave the rest of the country alone.

This raises questions about what will happen if the Supreme Court agrees with the 11th circuit's ruling that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, but the rest of the law can stand. Clearly, without the individual mandate, Obamacare is not financially viable, since only sick people will enter the insurance pool. The question is whether anyone will have the guts to do anything about it before the Obamacare subsidies blow the federal budget to smithereens.

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