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No Big Surprise

The Pensacola News Journal reports that McCollum seeks suit on health care

TALLAHASSEE — Attorney General Bill McCollum said today he is asking chief legal officers in other states to join in a legal review of pending federal health-care legislation.

McCollum, who is running for governor, said the effort could spark a lawsuit to block what he called an unconstitutional “tax on living” for all citizens.

McCollum, a Republican candidate for governor, was immediately accused of using his Cabinet office to appeal to conservative GOP voters who adamantly oppose national health care.

Proponents have argued that states require drivers to carry automobile insurance and that making the uninsured pay into a health-care pool would provide a funding source to cover them if they get sick or injured with no private coverage.

But McCollum said that’s different, because no one is required to have a car.

The other thing McCollum is attacking is a provision for the Federal government to pick up all of Nebraska’s Medicaid costs that was inserted to win Ben Nelson’s vote on the bill. Medicaid costs are normally split between the Federal and state governments.

Actually, I hope someone does file suit over mandates, because I don’t see the basis for requiring people to give money to private corporations.


1 Badtux { 12.30.09 at 1:53 am }

You don’t *have* to give your money to evil corporations with this bill. You can give it to the federal government as a tax instead, and clearly taxes are constitutional, the power to tax being one of the first powers granted Congress in the Constitution. So filing a lawsuit over this bill is just political grandstanding, because buying health insurance is *not* mandatory with this bill — you can pay the tax instead. Of course, you don’t get health care if you pay the tax instead. But it makes it pass Constitutional muster, which is the point, which means lawsuits over the bill are all about electoral politics and children’s notions of what the Constitution says (generally repeated by people who haven’t actually read the document), not about the Constitution.

— Badtux the Law Penguin

2 Bryan { 12.30.09 at 12:33 pm }

If you don’t give your money to the corporation, you are fined. They can called it a tax, but it’s a fine rendered without due process. They aren’t fooling anyone other than themselves.

3 Badtux { 12.30.09 at 2:25 pm }

It’s not a case of fooling anybody, it’s a case of passing Constitutional muster. Yes, I know that whether you call it a tax or a fine, for all practical purposes it’s a fine, but that’s not the point. The point is whether it’s Constitutionally valid to write this law in this way, and it is clear that it is, the commerce clause allows regulating the insurance companies and the tax clause allows letting people not pay the tax if they instead purchase health insurance (no different than any other tax break from a Constitutional point of view). It passes Constitutional muster for the same reason that Medicare does — because the Constitution gives Congress the power to tax.

I repeat: This lawsuit is about political grandstanding, not about the Constitution. It will be dismissed by the courts about as swiftly as Orly Taitz’s birther nonsense.

– Badtux the Law Penguin
.-= last blog ..Blogger fail =-.

4 Bryan { 12.30.09 at 8:16 pm }

Constitutionality is determined by 5 votes in the Supreme Court. I understand the legal fiction they are attempting to construct, but I don’t think it passes muster.