The chorus of concern that an individual mandate forcing Americans to purchase health insurance is at a crescendo. The Attorney General of Florida, Bill McCollum, yesterday requested, in a letter, that other state Attorney Generals join him in “a full review of the individual mandate.” McCollum writes “serious doubts have been voiced whether the individual mandate is grounded in one of Congress’ enumerated powers. For example, if the individual mandate is treated as a fine on a person for conducting no activity at all, it may not fall within the scope of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause. If the individual mandate is treated as a tax, the nature of that tax may limit how the revenue provision is viewed under the U.S. Constitution’s Taxing Power.”
This is an indication that many States are concerned that the Federal Government is overreaching and violating the constitutional rights of citizens. The New York Times reports, “Mr. McCollum’s stance places him in line with the attorneys general of South Carolina and nearly a dozen other states who have also threatened to sue over the mandate.” The bill is yet to be signed into law and many Members of Congress are threatening to introduce legislation to repeal Obamacare and lawyers are lining up to challenge the constitutionality of the legislation.
The issue of whether the individual mandate is constitutional is a new front against Obamacare. The NYT reports “The Heritage Foundation, for example, posted a lengthy legal analysis on Dec. 9 that argued that Congress had specific, limited powers that did not include ‘the distinct constitutional power to compel persons to purchase a contract of insurance from a private insurance company.’ That report said that the federal health insurance requirement differed from mandates requiring that drivers be insured because auto insurance is connected to the choice to drive.”
Although ObamaCare seems to be close to the goal line, many are saying the health care fight is not over yet. Either the House or the Senate, or both, need to make significant compromises before this bill can get to the President’s desk. With all the threatened lawsuits over the individual mandate, maybe this will become a hot issue during negotiations over the final version of the health care reform bill.
Hans Von Spakovsky’s analysis at NRO Online.
Brian Darling at Big Government.