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The Blue & Gray Press | September 24, 2018

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Opposing Viewpoints: Obamacare Will be Outlawed

Remember when the health care issue was a popular point extolled by the Democrats for popularity? It was a long time ago and you’d have to jog your memory a bit. Ever since President Obama managed to secure its passage, health care has been an issue most Democrats would prefer to avoid.

As gutless as it is, if President Obama wants to hold on to popularity and push for other legislation, he would be wise to continue this approach.

On the other hand, the bill’s unpopularity has been a lightning rod for criticism amid conservatives, and their clamoring for its destruction continues to grow louder in Congress. These voices have new reasons to celebrate, because yet another federal judge, this time in Florida, has struck down the health care overhaul as unconstitutional.

Judge Vinson, a district court judge, ruled that the entire law must be struck because of the unconstitutional provision. That clause, the individual mandate for all to get health care, runs afoul with Congress’ commerce clause, because while that clause allows Congress to regulate commercial activity, it says nothing about inactivity. This means that there’s no precedent to force people into buying insurance.

This raises the stakes and sends this issue to the Supreme Court, where the issue will be resolved in what will be an extremely influential ruling. Until then, this ruling will simply add weight to the argument of those who are against Obamacare, for now there are judicial rulings against it.

This stinging defeat for Obamacare is a slap-in-the-face that the Obama administration could play up and try to rebut, but that could easily backfire.  The health care overhaul has not become popular, so politicians risk much if they throw their support behind it.

For those who applaud these new rulings, like Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, it is a chance to help unite the dissent and give their opposition momentum. That could be crucial in the coming years right before the election, especially if any new positions or rulings from the courts appear in time for potential presidential candidates to weigh in on the matter.

All this new commotion over the issue should worry the president and his party a bit, but he shouldn’t focus on it too much because it is of out of his hands at this point. With the case being recommended to the Supreme Court, it is now a policy of wait-and-see.

A spokeswoman from the Justice Department said that they are still confident the law will be upheld, especially since only the individual mandate from the law was deemed unconstitutional, so Democrats do have some breathing room and hope.

Nevertheless, when it comes to momentum and popular support for the issue, the Republicans hold all the cards.

If President Obama wants to move forward with a spirit of bipartisanship, he is going to have to grit his teeth and yield this issue to the Republicans for now; butting heads over this issue could prevent anything else from getting done and cause gridlock on the Hill.

After the reconciliatory tone in the state of the union, Obama would be wise to acknowledge the slight Republican victory and wait.

Comments

  1. Ben

    So healthcare should remain a business (and it is, very much, a business today–one that refuses to treat people unless they can pay the obscene amounts charged by the healthcare industry) as opposed to something that all people should have equal access to regardless of their financial background? How much money do your parents make? The constitution doesn’t demand that all people should have equal access to education either, but do you really think the U.S. would be better off if only the rich could afford a decent education?

    This piece is really more about partisanship than it is about evaluating the notion of decent healthcare for all American citizens. If you have a legitimate issue with the plan, that’s fine. Criticize it with a bit of research and a well-thought out way of dealing with the issue. But as this article stands, it’s a little sick.

  2. Kathie

    Ben, I agree that the article is not well thought out. However, I would like to give you more food for thought. My husband is a Physician Assistant at a small family practice in Fredericksburg. Like this time last year, his employer is desparately seeking a new health insurance provider as the current provider (Coventry/ HealthSouth) has notified the group of a 60% (sixty percent) increase in the premium while also increasing the copay. What is this employer to do? The employer can’t pay the new rate. What are the employees to do if they can’t afford it either? The federal government has MANDATED insurance coverage, so if they employer can’t pay it then the employees must pay the new premium. Hmm, I wonder why insurance companies would suddenly raise their rates? Could it be because they can? Let me give you some perspective, the new monthly premium would be more than our monthly mortgage payment. We want our family to be insured, however, when are we allowed to say “it’s just beyond our means?”. Apparantly, under the current laws, we aren’t.
    There are many flaws in the current medical system in our country. However, mandating insurance coverage is not succeeding at covering the uninsured– it has created a situation where insurance companies can increase premiums and force families into debt to comply with the new law.

    As far a your comment about only the rich being able to afford college…. a better question would be “how many middle class families are able to send their children to college?”.