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It was really no surprise.
For the second time in two months, a federal judge has ruled that Congress overstepped the bounds of the Constitution by requiring Americans to purchase health care insurance. The result of the most recent ruling: all of the law “must be declared void.”
The one question that remains is whether Congress and the Obama Administration will now see the error of their ways and scrap the plan in order to start over — and get it right.
Don’t hold your breath. While the law rammed through by the Democrats last year is, at best, on life support, the plug is not likely to be pulled anytime soon.
When he made his ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson set in motion an action to stop the implementation of the new health care law by the 26 states involved in the lawsuit. But don’t expect the White House to back down. “We will continue to operate as we have previously,” a senior administration official was quoted as saying after the ruling.
And the Administration plans to appeal.
The good news is this week’s ruling went even further than the one handed down in Virginia’s challenge to the health care law earlier. Vinson ruled the entire law is unconstitutional.
The matter is likely to be settled by the U.S. Supreme Court. But until then, its implementation should be immediately halted.
The public certainly indicated in November it favors that action.
There were just too many problems from the start.
Though the law wasn’t popular among a majority of Americans, Democrats, who then controlled both the Senate and House, rammed it through, doing whatever needed to be done to get it passed. Behind-closed-door deals were struck to win enough support from wavering Democrats; few members of Congress even knew all the provisions included in the 2,700 page deal. Once those began to come to light, opposition to the law grew stronger. The true costs began to be revealed; the opposition got even louder.
Then came the first hints of reality as the initial components of the law began to go into effect. Insurance premiums began to skyrocket for those who already had health care insurance. Waivers from the health care law’s requirements began to be handed out to those who would be adversely affected — many of those given to the most ardent supporters of the President and other Democrats who had pushed the law’s passage.
Republicans, which now control the U.S. House of Representatives, have successfully passed a repeal of the law, but it remains to be seen if the Senate, still controlled by Democrats, will follow suit. The President has ultimately vowed to veto any repeal if it would reach his desk.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is calling for the Department of Justice to fast track the challenges to the health care law to the Supreme Court. “All parties involved, no matter where they stand on this measure, should support moving this issue to its final stage, and bringing finality to a complicated matter that will have an impact on every state, employer and citizen of this nation,” he said after this week’s ruling.
The longer it takes to get the matter ultimately settled, the more time the Administration has to implement the law and the more adverse the effects will be. Let's stop it before the harm realized is fatal.