Now that the Healthcare Reform Bill has been declared unconstitutional by a Federal Judge, a couple of interesting items have occurred.
The Obama administration has said that it will continue to move forward with the implementation of the reforms within the bill. This is a very disconcerting action, because of the constitutional crisis that may be brewing if this continues. If you or I continued to abide by a law which has been declared unconstitutional where to you think we would end up?
The argument used by the White House is that only 2 judges have declared it unconstitutional, while 2 other judges have not found it unconstitutional, therefore the matter has not been resolved, so they will continue to move forward. This is in stark contrast to the ruling issued by US District Judge Virginia Phillips regarding the military’s ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ policy.. When the judge declared this policy unconstitutional, the White House immediately began to dismantle the policy. Would someone tell me the difference between the two rulings? Both where made by a US Federal Judge, both were one judge’s opinion, and both will probably be appealed to a higher court.
Bernie Sanders (S-Vermont), this week renewed his call for a single payer system, as a solution to the issue of Healthcare Reform. You may remember that he had introduced a bill in 2009, when the debate over healthcare reform was at the center of the National attention, championing the same idea.. On February 10th, 2011, Bernie Sanders introduced amendments to the legislation that would strengthen the single payer system, increase the public option and accelerate the timetable of the insurance exchanges and other mandates. You can read all about his amendments on his Website sanders.senator.gov. The cynics among us would say that this has been the goal of Healthcare Reform all along, and for some people that is surely the case. It may be interesting to note that when the bill was initially being debated in Congress, the Democrats in charge denied Republicans the ability to add any amendments to the bill. Now that the Republicans are in charge of the House, should they operate under the same rules?
Meanwhile, back in Congress, the Republicans have stated that they will begin introducing bills which will limit funding for Obamacare. Proponents of the (as it stands right now) unconstitutional bill say that there is no precedent for congress not to fund vital legislation. To that, I would like to point out to these people that they should learn their history. The Vietnam War was essentially shut down by Congress when they decreased the funding for the war, so there is clearly a precedent for defunding government projects.
As a purely political issue, there should be no reason to have to defund an unconstitutional law. The fact that the Healthcare Reform Bill is unconstitutional should mean that there is no need to allocate the funds to implement it. And we were told by the proponents of the bill that by passing it we would decrease the deficit by billions of dollars. Then my question is: “Why do we need to allocate funds to implement the legislation if by doing so we would save billions of dollars?” In my simple mind, if by passing the bill we would reduce the deficit by billions of dollars, then the provisions would increase the revenue to the government and should not require funds from other areas to implement it. Something just doesn’t add up here.