ObamaCare: A Louder Knell

An appeals court’s ruling that the federal government does not have the power to require all Americans to buy health insurance is a critical step in stopping the Obama administration’s wholesale dismantling of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.

It isn’t the death blow to ObamaCare but the knell grows louder.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 Friday last that the “individual mandate” is an “unprecedented” and “breathtaking” expansion of federal power. Another appellate court previously upheld the constitutionality of the provision. Last week’s ruling virtually guarantees the case is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

And that final outcome rests on this principle, as stated by the 11th Circuit’s tribunal: “(W)hat Congress cannot do under the Commerce Clause is mandate that individuals enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die.”

Such a federal diktat is “wholly novel,” even by the New Deal standards of Franklin Roosevelt, and represents a “potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority,” the panel said. That is, if Congress can force you to buy health insurance, it can force you to buy anything.

Surely the Framers are spinning in their graves at the thought.

Read more: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/s_751688.html