Forcing people to buy health insurance is unconstitutional. Those who opposed the individual mandate in Obama Care have always said so and today, a Federal Judge in Virginia agreed. In the lawsuit brought by VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli the Judge ruled:
Judge Hudson, of the Eastern District of Virginia, said the individual mandate "would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers."PDF of the full opinion is here.
He added: "At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance—or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage—it's about an individual's right to choose to participate."
"An individual's personal decision to purchase -- or decline purchase -- (of) health insurance from a private provider is beyond the historical reach of the U.S. Constitution," Hudson wrote. "No specifically constitutional authority exists to mandate the purchase of health insurance."
"Despite the laudable intentions of Congress in enacting a comprehensive and transformative health care regime, the legislative process must still operate within constitutional bounds," Hudson added. "Salutatory goals and creative drafting have never been sufficient to offset an absence of enumerated powers."
Judge Hudson did not block the continued implementation of Obama Care. That job will be left to the incoming Republicans in the House of Representatives and sensible members of the U.S. Senate. But the ruling is a key step to unraveling the entire Obama Care facade. Without the mandate forcing people to buy insurance the financial house of cards on which the whole thing is founded collapses.
In related news, the latest ABC News poll shows the lowest level of support EVER for Obama Care!
Update: Best Constitutional Explanation
Michael Cannon, writing at Cato@Liberty sums up the issue very well in few words. This short column is a must read for those wishing to understand the issue. Here's an excerpt:
ObamaCare has always hung by an absurdity. ObamaCare supporters claim that the Constitution’s words “Congress shall have the Power…To regulate Commerce…among the several States” somehow give Congress the power to compel Americans to engage in commerce. This ruling exposes that absurdity, and exposes as desperate political spin the Obama administration’s claims that these lawsuits are frivolous.
The centerpiece of ObamaCare is a three-legged stool, comprised of the individual mandate, the government price controls that compress health insurance premiums, and the massive new subsidies to help Americans comply with the mandate. Knock out any of those three legs, and whole endeavor falls.
Moreover, the individual mandate is not the law’s only unconstitutional provision.
These lawsuits and the continuing legislative debate over ObamaCare are about more than health care. They are about whether the United States has a government of specifically enumerated powers, or whether the Constitution grants the federal government the power to do whatever the politicians please, subject only to a few specifically enumerated restraints. This ruling has pulled America back from that precipice.