Two Observations on the Health Care Ruling

Yes, a federal judge has ruled the individual mandate to be unconstitutional. However, this issue is hardly settled yet.

Via the NYTHealth Care Law Ruled Unconstitutional

In a 42-page opinion issued in Richmond, Va., Judge Hudson wrote that the law’s central requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance exceeds the regulatory authority granted to Congress under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The insurance mandate is central to the law’s mission of covering more than 30 million uninsured because insurers argue that only by requiring healthy people to have policies can they afford to treat those with expensive chronic conditions.

Two observations:

1.  It is interesting that the judge “declined the plaintiff’s request to freeze implementation of the law pending appeal, meaning that there should be no immediate effect on the ongoing rollout of the law.”  However, that decision simply underscores the next observation.

2.  This isn’t going to be settled until the Supreme Court weighs in.  As such, while such rulings are of interest, no one should celebrate/mourn at this point.

Remember:  we recently went through the courts ruling on DADT, and yet…

FILED UNDER: Healthcare Policy, US Politics, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Tim says:

    Finally some justice! I want this bill repealed before Obama starts telling my Doctor what to do:

  2. Trumwill says:

    Tim, it would be helpful if the video explained exactly how PPACA “kills the doctor/patient relationship.” It’s a funding intermediary, so it has an effect on what is paid for and what is not, but that’s a role the government and insurance companies usually play.

  3. PD Shaw says:

    “Remember: we recently went through the courts ruling on DADT, and yet…”

    Completely agree; I’m still confused by what appears to be an assumption out there that the courts have all but decided DADT’s fate.

    My crystal ball indicates
    Probability of Obamcare overturned < Probability of DADT overturned < 50%

  4. TG Chicago says:

    Regardlng Tim’s comment (and Trumwill’s), it’s always amusing to see people say “I don’t want the government to get between me and my doctor!” because that inevitably means they’re saying “I really, really want a corporation — whose primary interest is profit — to get between me and my doctor!”

  5. Tlaloc says:

    Precisely. Someone will end up rationing health care. The only choice is whether that someone is a corporate bean counter who has every motivation and incentive to deny coverage and cut corners, or to a government bureaucrat who is, at least a tiny bit, accountable to the people. The latter may not be a great choice but it’s a hell of a lot better than the former.