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April 7, 2012 / Political Fluency

A Mandatory Obamacare Post

Well there was plenty of drama over the past two weeks regarding the constitutional challenge of Obamacare in the Supreme Court. The decision isn’t until June and possibly July. There’s plenty to say about this case with my background in healthcare and much of it will be said, but when everyone else is breaking down the day-to-day and even hour-by-hour, that’s when we step back and take stock of the major points of what’s happening.

We’ll go in reverse order of events in these Obamacare posts which would have us end on substance – the actual arguments made over 6 hours to the Supreme Court in the longest hearing since 1967.

The Democrats’ view of the health care law went from point A) Nancy Pelosi scoffing at the idea that there was anything wrong with the law in October of 2009:

Recently, a reporter with right-wing press outlet CNSNews asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi whether health reform violates the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution. The Speaker gave the question exactly as much respect as it deserved: “Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?”

Pelosi: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”

Pelosi is right to be dismissive of the fringe right-wing theory behind this question, which has no basis in the Constitution itself.

To point B) Complete panic mode after 5 of the 9 justices hammered many aspects of the law as they (like many judges before them in the past 2 years) took that “fringe right-wing theory” seriously that the individual mandate that requires everyone to purchase health care coverage may infringe on our personal liberty.

The panic reached its peak when the President took the opportunity to issue a bizarre statement that was as historically inaccurate as it was the height of passive aggression towards conservatives on the Supreme Court and in the punditry.

Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.

And I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint, that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.

Let’s run it down.

“Strong majority” The law barely passed in the House and without one Republican vote. That’s the very definition of a weak majority.

“Judicial activism” He actually has a point here because the majority of the law, like the individual mandate, has not taken effect yet. But some of the law has taken effect and the idea of an individual mandate is a pertinent Constitutional question with the implementation in 2014 of that mandate could cause a major disruption in health care which is one-sixth of the American economy.

“An unelected group of people would somehow [take the] unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law” I mashed that together for space reasons and to emphasize the ridiculousness of this completely inaccurate idea made even worse coming from a Constitutional law professor!

A phenomenal set of analogies was written by one of Professor Obama’s former law students here when he says:

Imagine if you picked up your morning paper to read that one of your astronomy professors had publicly questioned whether the earth, in fact, revolves around the sun.  Or suppose that one of your economics professors was quoted as saying that consumers would purchase more gasoline if the price would simply rise.  Or maybe your high school math teacher was publicly insisting that 2 + 2 = 5.  You’d be a little embarrassed, right?  You’d worry that your colleagues and friends might begin to question your astronomical, economic, or mathematical literacy.

Now you know how I felt this morning when I read [the President’s remarks].

These remarks by the President were the story of the week. It is as stupid as anything George W. Bush has ever stated.* As you can see by the analogies above, Obama was questioning the high school level concept of judicial review that has been going on since at least 1803** and showed a shocking superficiality to a Presidency already filled with them.***


*Obama just speaks without a Southern accent and grammatical errors.

** History is alive. That landmark 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison had the President’s remarks from this week added to the Wikipedia entry.

***American DVD’s that weren’t compatible with British players

Beer Summit

Obama in the broadcast booth during a baseball game

Obama in the broadcast booth during a basketball game

90 rounds of golf in three years! [George W. Bush was criticized for playing 24 rounds over 8 years. Possibly the new standard for media bias since the wars going on during the Bush Administration are still going on under Obama.]


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