Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

General McKenna vs. Obamacare

Posted by Warren Peterson on March 24, 2010

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna is a leader among various state attorneys general suing to declare the new insurance mandate in Obamacare unconstitutional. The challenge is based on their understanding of the 10th Amendment and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The plaintiffs contend that the Federal Government does not have the constitutional authority to force citizens to purchase a private product i.e. health insurance. Unlike Social Security and Medicare, where the Federal Government imposes taxes for the purpose of providing a specific service, the new health care law requires private citizens to purchase health insurance from private companies or face a fine.

The suit raises serious constitutional questions and also provides McKenna with a potentially popular campaign issue for the 2012 governor’s race. But even a threat of a favorable court ruling may result in an unintended consequence worse than the current law. If the Obama,/Pelosi/Reid Axis of Arrogance fears the loss of a key Obamacare obligation in the courts, they may use it as an excuse to extend Medicare to all. At least until January 2011, the Democrats will have large enough majorities in the House and Senate to force through such a change. Assuming Republicans win control of the House in the 2010 election, Democrats will have nothing to lose by further ticking off the public. Congressman Jim McDermott will be ecstatic; finally single payer health care. Can you sing “O Canada”?

Cross Posted on Sound Politics

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