Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Read The Fine Print

Various parts of the Democrats' health care reform law have been held up as pieces that might not stand up to a constitutional rigor. The individual mandate that requires those who aren't previously covered by insurance to buy a plan is the most likely place for the legal objections to begin. Another provision that is being disputed at the constitutional level is the expansion of Medicaid that forces states to increase their spending on that program. But those are only two pieces of a legislative leviathan. Even if one or both were stricken, the bulk of the law's burden would remain. However, Greg Scandlen, a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, says due to a little-known legal concept the entire law would unravel if a single part was found to be outside the Constitution. "Apparently there was no 'severability' clause written into this law, which shows how amateurish the process was," he wrote. "Virtually every bill I've ever read includes a provision that if any part of the law is ruled unconstitutional the rest of the law will remain intact. Not this one. That will likely mean that the entire law will be thrown out if a part of it is found to violate the Constitution." No argument from us. The bill writers and lawmakers who voted for it without reading it were unprofessional. That was obvious in the haste in which the 2,400 pages of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act were passed and signed into law...more

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