Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Federal Judge Declares Key Part of Obamacare Unconstitutional

Yesterday,  U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson released his ruling on the case brought before his court by Virginia's attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, that challenged the legal mandate within the Obamacare law that stated that individuals must purchase health insurance at pain of penalty otherwise. 

Judge Hudson stated that the law's requirement that most Americans carry insurance or pay a penalty "exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power."  Further, requiring Americans to buy insurance "would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers," wrote Judge Hudson.  "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."

Now this is only the first victory in restoring constitutional sanity in regards to the egregious Obamacare Act and many court battles remain until this case eventually ends up in front of the Supreme Court for final adjudication on what any objective constitutional scholar can decipher as being an exceptionally poor law.  It is unlikely that this case will end up before the Supreme Court before 2012, however.  The fight has only begun.

In the meantime, the pernicious effects of this horrible law are already manifesting themselves to average Americans, despite huge parts of the law still yet waiting to take effect.  The law was sold to the public as being vital to insure those without health care and as a necessary way to hold down medical costs.  The latter part of that was known to have been a pipe dream by anyone that had a rudimentary understanding of free-market economics, and unfortunately has proven to be just as we had feared, especially in my own anecdotal situation.

Indeed, my co-pays have all gone up by 50% for 2011; my hospitalization costs have risen by 500%; my premiums have also dramatically increased, while covered procedures and tests have been severely cut back or have had their costs also increase significantly.  So much for the Affordable Care Act helping us in saving our health care dollars.

Indeed, in a conversation I had with my primary care doctor yesterday (a man that I have seen way too much of lately) said that he is very worried.  He said that insurance companies love the Obamacare Act because until this recent ruling, everyone was going to have to buy insurance, and yet the deductibles and co-pays for most plans would be such that many Americans still would see the doctor far less than necessary due to their inability to even afford these high co-pays and deductibles.  Thus, insurers collect the premiums and have far fewer pay-outs.  More money stays in their coffers accordingly.  My doctor fears a 30% reduction in his business next year just for this very reason.  Further, he said if it exceeds that number than he is likely out of business.

This is why it is absolutely vital that all aspects of Obamacare be repealed as soon as possible. Real reforms that will allow competition across state lines for insurers and meaningful tort reform must be enacted soon so as to reduce costs.

It will be interesting to see what the political fallout will be in this regards, as the Obama administration is holding fast to their fictional account that the Affordable Care Act is a good law that is reducing costs.  Indeed, Kathleen Sebelius, Obama's Health and Human Services Secretary sent out a warning letter to America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and the National Association of Health Insurers telling them they had better cease and desist from telling the truth. 

In the September 9th letter, Secretary Sebelius wrote, "It has come to my attention that several health insurer carriers are sending letters to their enrollees falsely blaming premium  increases for 2011 on the patient protections in the Affordable Care Act... [T]here will be zero tolerance fro this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases..." 

So the costs go up, as we knew they would, doctors plan on leaving their dying practices, and the Obama administration threatens anyone that dares speak the truth about the situation.  At least we have won the first critical battle in the dismantling of this horribly un-Constitutional law yesterday.  I only hope that the country can withstand the buffetts it will face before we finally have a WORKING law in place that actually does what this travesty of a law was supposedly crafted to do.


John Myste said...

Last year both my wife's insurance and my insurance went up. You can, and I sure will, blame that on the whiff of ObamaCare in the oven. This year, my wife's insurance stayed the same and mine went down.

Anecdotally speaking. In the case of my work insurance, it is adjusted annually based on usage in the prior year.

T. Paine said...

It is already being fairly widely reported that my anecdotal stories seem to be the prevailing condition. What we are charged as consumers of health care and insurance for it is going up drastically in many cases.

I have heard that one of the unsurprising reasons for this is the fact that the Obamacare Act cut funds from Medicare and caps reimbursements for such patients to doctors and hospitals in order to fund this travesty of a plan.

With that being the case, health care professionals' expenses have not decreased, so they must make up the difference accordingly. Hence, they shift the shortfall in income to privately insured patients.

This is the result of such legislation when the drafters do not have a basic understanding of economics. Regulations always cost businesses money. Sometimes that regulation and associated cost are valid and necessary. Such is not the case with this egregious law, my friend.