Federal Judge Uses Obama's Words
Newsmax. Tuesday, February 1, 2011. In ruling against President Obama‘s
health care law, federal Judge Roger Vinson used Mr. Obama‘s own
position from the 2008 campaign against him, when the then-Illinois
senator argued there were other ways to achieve reform short of
requiring every American to purchase insurance.
“I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform
proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at
that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that, ‘If a mandate was
the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating
everybody to buy a house,’” Judge Vinson wrote in a footnote toward the
end of his 78-page ruling Monday.
Judge Vinson, a federal judge in the northern district of Florida,
struck down the entire health care law as unconstitutional on Monday,
though he is allowing the Obama administration to continue to implement
and enforce it while the government appeals his ruling.
The footnote was attached to the most critical part of Judge Vinson‘s
ruling, in which he said the “principal dispute” in the case was not
whether Congress has the power to tackle health care, but rather whether
it has the power to compel individual citizens to purchase insurance.
Judge Vinson cited Mr. Obama‘s campaign words from an interview with CNN
to show that there are other options that could pass constitutional
muster including then-candidate Obama‘s plan.
During the presidential campaign, one key difference between Mr. Obama
and his chief opponent, then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, was that Mrs.
Clinton‘s plan required all Americans to purchase insurance and Mr.
Obama‘s did not.
Congress eventually included the individual mandate in the bill it
passed, and Mr. Obama signed that into law in March. Since then, he and
his administration have defended its constitutionality, arguing the
mandate is the linchpin that brings in more customers to insurance
companies, which in turn allows those companies to expand the
availability and lower the cost of coverage.
Much of Judge Vinson‘s ruling was a discussion of how the Founding
Fathers, including James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, saw the limits on
congressional power. Judge Vinson hypothesized that, under the Obama
administration‘s legal theory, the government could mandate that all
citizens eat broccoli.
White House officials said that sort of “surpassingly curious reading”
called into question Judge Vinson‘s entire ruling.
“There’s something thoroughly odd and unconventional about the
analysis,” said a White House official who briefed reporters late Monday
afternoon, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
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