Monday, March 21, 2011

Why not settle the matter now?

You would think that the Obama Administration would like to settle the constitutionality of it’s sweeping healthcare “reform” act sooner rather than later. After all, it was struck down twice by two federal judges, one in Florida and one in Virginia. Given all the effort that went into ramrodding it through Congress over the people’s wishes, don’t you think they would want to put some effort into assuring those efforts come to full and unfettered fruition by ascertaining that the law passes constitutional muster?

Certainly those against the act, particularly the states that will have to invest untold resources to enact it, want the matter settled soon, and they have filed motions to that effect. But for some reason, the Administration is not interested in speeding things up. According to a Washington Post article, in response to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s motion to go directly to the Supreme Court,

The Justice Department has indicated publicly that while it supported speeding appellate court review, it believed immediate Supreme Court action was unnecessary given that the individual mandate does not go into effect until 2014. Now, they have formalized that opinion in a legal brief filed with the court late Monday.

Neither is the Administration interested in speeding up the process in the Florida case, where the judge ruled in favor of 26 states challenging the law, indicating that the individual insurance mandate was unconstitutional . Judge Roger Vinson went even further, stating that the individual mandate is an essential and non-severable part of the law, and therefore the entire statute is unconstitutional. When the Administration basically ignored his ruling and did not even file an appeal, an exasperated Judge Vinson issued another ruling giving them seven days to file an appeal to the 11th circuit.

So why is the Administration putting on the brakes? Could it be that they know full well that they will lose on the merits of the case, and they would rather that the federal and state governments continue in their expensive implementation efforts in hopes of passing a point of no return, a point where voiding the law would be impractical and expensive, so even an unfavorable Supreme Court ruling can put them in a position to demagogue the Congress into merely tweaking the law to pass constitutional muster instead of throwing it onto a well deserved scrap heap?

1 comment:

Shirley said...

Not sure I understand their reasoning, but it seems to me that the law is changing so much (granting of waivers, Form 1099 requirement, etc) that a future court would be ruling on something that doesn't even exist any more in its original form.

Maybe that is the plan ? With the legislative mood of Congress the particulars of the bill may be changed even more and the original cases could become moot.

It certainly will be a tangled mess, whatever happens.