By Terry Corbell
The Biz Coach
How Economic, Political Freedom Got Boost from Two Reproaches
Updated – Feb. 1, 2012
The healthcare debacle is going to the U.S. Supreme Court, in part, thanks to ruling by an Atlanta federal appeals court and the Standard and Poor’s downgrade of the U.S. credit rating last August. In reality, they were positive developments. The two evens represent reproaches to the federal government’s behavior and performance.
While sustaining the bulk of the so-called reforms, thankfully, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Congress unconstitutionally required Americans to buy health insurance or pay a stiff fine. Most businesspeople feel differently about the law (How Healthcare Law Would Affect Small Business, and Healthcare Reform Increases Costs to Workers, Study).
Despite disingenuous claims by the Obama Administration, S&P’s downgrade was justified. In pandering to political cronies nearly all in Congress from both parties, has spent an obscene amount of money on unwarranted hometown pork and earmarks. Politicians must now stare at a huge red flag.
Another reason why the court’s health-law ruling is encouraging:
One of the opinions was written by Judge Frank M. Hull. He was appointed by a Democrat – President Bill Clinton in 1994. He was joined by Chief Judge Joel F. Dubina, who was appointed by Republican President H.W. Bush.
Until Judge Hull’s decision, lower court rulings were rendered along party lines. Republican appointees invalidated the health-law, and judicial appointees by Democrats upheld it.
“This economic mandate represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority: the ability to compel Americans to purchase an expensive health insurance product they have elected not to buy, and to make them re-purchase that insurance product every month for their entire lives,” wrote Judges Hull and Dubina.
“We have not found any generally applicable, judicially enforceable limiting principle that would permit us to uphold the mandate without obliterating the boundaries inherent in the system of enumerated congressional powers,” they also wrote.
Yes, there more legal challenges in the courts, including Virginia and the District of Columbia.
But this ruling was the most salient. The opponents’ case was pursued by attorneys general and governors from more than half of the states – 26. Other plaintiffs included the National Federation of Independent Business and two individuals.
Again, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on the case.
The Atlanta court’s dramatic ruling might influence the pricing of insurance policies. The Obamacare requirement guaranteed funding via the consistency in the mega pool of policyholders. Now, insurance companies started to hike premiums — just as predicted here at The Biz Coach.
Politically, there’s also a different landscape. Perhaps the Supreme Court might agree with the Atlanta court. But any legislative attempts by Congress to sidestep such a ruling would be unwise. That’s because the Democrats no longer enjoy being the majority in both houses of Congress. Republicans are unified against the law.
States governments are carrying out the law’s reforms. There has been a lot of angst about the costs in implementing the law. Many of the states’ politicians complain their rights have been trampled.
Even though the remaining portions of Obamacare were untouched by the Atlanta court, the ruling also appears to torch them. Why? The mandate to buy insurance is a source of the law’s funding, which has now been disrupted.
Only one source remains as a funding source – a decrease in Medicare benefits. Democrats have been disingenuous. They conveniently omit the devastation to recipients of Medicare.
Let’s hope the entire baggage in Obamacare is at-risk. It was clearly unconscionable for Congress to require Americans to buy private products.
The Great Recession may have technically ended but not for most businesspeople and consumers. That’s why the S&P downgrade and court ruling are beneficial. The reproaches help to end the expansion of the over-extended Federal government.
The reproaches also hold the promise of enhancing the economy by alleviating economic uncertainty for 14 million unemployed Americans and employers. Companies have been reluctant to hire, in part, because of the expense of Obamacare.
Here’s a better strategic plan: Balance the budget without increasing taxes on everyone. Make it feasible for startups and other businesses to hire and expand.
Economic and political freedom are two of America’s sacred liberties.
From the Coach’s Corner, here are related public policy columns:
“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”
Columnist Terry Corbell is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services (many are available online). For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule Terry Corbell as a speaker, why don’t you contact him today?