Conservative Judge Overturns Obamacare

Sigh. Another conservative judge with a vendetta has declared Obamacare unconstitutional. Here’s the reasoning:

  • The individual mandate is an exercise of Congress’s taxing power (you have to pay a tax unless you have insurance).
  • Last year’s tax bill reduced the tax penalty to zero.
  • Therefore the mandate is no longer an exercise of the taxing power.
  • But the Supreme Court has already ruled that the mandate is not justified by the Interstate Commerce clause.
  • So the mandate has no constitutional backing at all.
  • Therefore the individual mandate is unconstitutional.
  • The mandate is not severable from the rest of Obamacare. If it’s unconstitutional, then all of Obamacare is unconstitutional.

According to this logic, Congress can never enact a tax of zero, even temporarily. It can enact a positive tax. It can enact a negative tax. But not a zero tax. This is going to come as quite a shock to the millions of people who pay a rate of zero on capital gains taxes and inheritance taxes.

Anyway, the judge hasn’t issued an injunction, so Obamacare is still the law of the land. If he does, it will get overturned and eventually sent to the Supreme Court. Again. This is not something to panic about yet.

POSTSCRIPT: In the meantime, Saturday is the last day to enroll in Obamacare in most states. If you or anyone you know is insured under Obamacare, make sure to enroll now.