ObamaCare – Another Reason Why It's Unconstitutional

It seems like the more we read, the more we learn that ObamaCare is an economic mistake, a health care mistake, and a constitutional mistake.  In an article in The Wall Street Journal this week, it now appears that ObamaCare also violates the general welfare clause of Article 1 Section 8 of the United States Constitution.  Yes, many of us have believed ObamaCare was unconstitutional from the outset for forcing individuals to participate in an economic marketplace … the market for health care insurance … to purchase health care insurance or face a fine.  Some have argued the ObamaCare ”failure-to-purchase” fine was a tax.  But, that argument has been rebutted as well.  Recall from an earlier blog I wrote that ObamaCare also seems to violate the Right to Privacy Principle.  So, do we now have still another reason why ObamaCare is unconstitutional and why it will eventually be thrown out in court and/or repealed by Congress?  Let’s talk about it more now …

Remember when ObamaCare was being debated in Congress and when the State of Nebraska was given a $100 million exemption to help cover the increased Medicaid costs associated with the bill.  People were upset.  Why should Nebraska get an exemption?  The so-called Cornhusker Kickback was so unpopular that it was removed from the bill.

According to the new WSJ article, the Cornhusker Kickback was simply unconstitutional under the general welfare clause of the Constitution.  Why?  Article 1 Section 8 authorizes Congress with certain powers to provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.  General welfare refers to the welfare of each and every state … not one state over the other 49 states.  Clearly, Nebraska should not have been be singled out for special treatment.

In the case of ObamaCare, if a State chooses not to participate, it can lose 100% of its share of Federal funds for Medicaid.  There’s no 5% penalty.  In essence, ObamaCare might be seen as coercing a State into compliance … a compliance it might not be able to handle financially.  Currently, the average State spends about 18% of its tax revenues on Medicaid.  ObamaCare will burden the States further with an unspecified liability to cover an additional 84 million people by 2019.  If a State can’t afford ObamaCare and chooses to opt-out, it can lose all Medicaid funding, hurting the poor people of the State.  This does not serve the general welfare and seems to be an additional reason why ObamaCare is unconstitutional.

As we enter 2011, it’s my hope that America will one day regain a free market in healthcare … without the new dictates of ObamaCare and without the old burdens of past wasteful regulations … but instead, with the lower prices, wider choices, and new innovations brought about by a free market that is free to bring patients and consumers better products and better services at lower prices.

Choosing the Good Life Blog by Gerard Francis Lameiro, Ph.D.

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