Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The future of 'absurd' Obamacare machine

Getting rid of Obamacare's unconstitutional individual mandate will, essentially, be the end of the entire misguided health care policy.

"The individual mandate is crucial: if you knock it out, the whole Rube Goldberg machine ... simply ceases to function," said Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute, in the latest edition of Cato's Letter (not yet online).

While Kentucky's elected officials have refused to push back against this assault from Washington on our individual liberties, others, like Shapiro and the attorneys general from several states, have been warning that allowing Obamacare to stand will result in an unprecedented -- and unconstitutional -- foray of government into our personal lives.

"Upholding the legislation would allow the federal government to mandate that Americans engage in assorted activities, turning citizens into subjects," Shapiro said. "Without exaggeration, nobody would be able to claim the Constitution limits federal power."

Ultimately, the matter will be decided by the Supreme Court, which -- if history is any indication -- will do what our state should already have done: throw out the absurd policy. Of course, as Shapiro notes, that's not a certainty.

"On the one hand, it refrained from striking down such facially unconstitutional pieces of fundamental legislation as Social Security," he observes. "On the other, that legislation was unpopular and came during a time of great social upheaval.

But Shapiro ends on this positive note:

"If, as the old saw goes, 'the Court follows the election returns,' the rise of the Tea parties ... may have steeled judicial spines."

By the way, one description of a Rube Goldberg machine described it as "an expression to describe any system that's confusing or complicated and came about from Goldberg's illustrations of absurd machines."

Confusing. Complicated. Most of all, absurd. That certainly describes Obamacare and Kentucky officials' refusal to vigorously oppose it.

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