Big ObamaCare ruling ahead

Big ObamaCare ruling ahead

November 16th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

A huge decision on the future of U.S. health care -- and on health care costs -- is ahead. The decision will be made not by patients, doctors and insurers, but by the U.S. Supreme Court, which plans to consider a challenge to ObamaCare.

It is entirely uncertain how the court will rule, after lower federal courts have issued split rulings.

The high court has four justices generally considered liberal, four who are more conservative and one -- Justice Anthony Kennedy -- who is liberal-leaning but sometimes a swing vote. For instance, he voted to impose restrictions, found nowhere in the Constitution, on states' use of the death penalty; he cited vague "evolving standards of decency" in joining a liberal 5-4 majority ruling that Louisiana could not execute child rapists.

It's sad that political or personal views often seem to enter into the high court's deliberations -- when it ought to be ruling on the facts, the law and the Constitution.

What will the high court do about ObamaCare? It should strike it down. Nothing in the Constitution can reasonably be construed to justify Congress forcing the American people to buy government-approved medical insurance -- and punishing them if they refuse.

Ever since Democrats alone passed ObamaCare, it has been remarkably unpopular with the American people, and it has been caught up in legal challenges. A majority of the states have filed suit to stop it.

Republican Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has said ObamaCare will saddle his state with a stunning $2.5 billion price tag over the next 10 years. Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen -- a Democrat -- said ObamaCare will cost Tennessee $1.1 billion over seven years. He labeled it a "huge unfunded mandate."

It is desirable for all of us to have reasonable medical care. But under our Constitution, health care -- like food and housing -- should be a personal, not government, responsibility.