The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Opposing Viewpoints: Obamacare Will be Outlawed

3 min read

Remember when the health care issue was a popular point extolled by the Democrats for popularity? It was a long time ago and you’d have to jog your memory a bit. Ever since President Obama managed to secure its passage, health care has been an issue most Democrats would prefer to avoid.

As gutless as it is, if President Obama wants to hold on to popularity and push for other legislation, he would be wise to continue this approach.

On the other hand, the bill’s unpopularity has been a lightning rod for criticism amid conservatives, and their clamoring for its destruction continues to grow louder in Congress. These voices have new reasons to celebrate, because yet another federal judge, this time in Florida, has struck down the health care overhaul as unconstitutional.

Judge Vinson, a district court judge, ruled that the entire law must be struck because of the unconstitutional provision. That clause, the individual mandate for all to get health care, runs afoul with Congress’ commerce clause, because while that clause allows Congress to regulate commercial activity, it says nothing about inactivity. This means that there’s no precedent to force people into buying insurance.

This raises the stakes and sends this issue to the Supreme Court, where the issue will be resolved in what will be an extremely influential ruling. Until then, this ruling will simply add weight to the argument of those who are against Obamacare, for now there are judicial rulings against it.

This stinging defeat for Obamacare is a slap-in-the-face that the Obama administration could play up and try to rebut, but that could easily backfire.  The health care overhaul has not become popular, so politicians risk much if they throw their support behind it.

For those who applaud these new rulings, like Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, it is a chance to help unite the dissent and give their opposition momentum. That could be crucial in the coming years right before the election, especially if any new positions or rulings from the courts appear in time for potential presidential candidates to weigh in on the matter.

All this new commotion over the issue should worry the president and his party a bit, but he shouldn’t focus on it too much because it is of out of his hands at this point. With the case being recommended to the Supreme Court, it is now a policy of wait-and-see.

A spokeswoman from the Justice Department said that they are still confident the law will be upheld, especially since only the individual mandate from the law was deemed unconstitutional, so Democrats do have some breathing room and hope.

Nevertheless, when it comes to momentum and popular support for the issue, the Republicans hold all the cards.

If President Obama wants to move forward with a spirit of bipartisanship, he is going to have to grit his teeth and yield this issue to the Republicans for now; butting heads over this issue could prevent anything else from getting done and cause gridlock on the Hill.

After the reconciliatory tone in the state of the union, Obama would be wise to acknowledge the slight Republican victory and wait.