There's bad news for the 20 states suing the federal government over the legality of the health care reform law.
A federal judge upheld the authority of the federal government to require everyone to have health insurance. Sitting in Detroit, Judge George Caram Steeh said the government has the authority to require everyone to be covered by health insurance by 2014.
That's a major blow to the 20 states who are are suing the federal government because they say the law, which requires individuals to have health insurance, is an attempt by the government to overreach its authority.
Steeh said that requiring everyone to have insurance would "lower the overall cost of insurance by requiring participation."
"Without the minimum coverage provision, there would be an incentive for some individuals to wait to purchase health insurance until they needed care, knowing that insurance would be available at all times," the judge said. "As a result, the most costly individuals would be in the insurance system and the least costly would be outside it," Steeh said. "In turn, this would aggravate current problems with cost-shifting and lead to even higher premiums."
The ruling, though non-binding, bodes well for efforts of the Obama Administration to provide all American citizens with health coverage.
It's something that you think everyone in one of the richest countries in the history of the world would have, especially given the cost to taxpayers to fund a broken health care system that sees many poor people using the emergency room as a primary care clinic.
"The court found that the minimum coverage provision of the statute was a reasonable means for Congress to take in reforming our health care system," Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler told the AP. "The department will continue to vigorously defend this law in ongoing litigation."
It's also ironic how several of the 20 states suing the federal government over the unconstitutionality of health care reform are already partaking of money provided by the law.
Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska and Nevada are receiving money provided under the new law to cover the health care costs of retired state employees while also opposing the law. Six of the states are headed by Republican governors.
The rhetoric surrounding health care has been unfairly turned into a debate about freedoms. It seems that common sense is being tossed out while the well-being of our fellow citizens is being discarded.
It's especially outrageous that one of the plaintiffs in the Detroit suit is the Thomas More Law Center, a national Christian public interest law firm. One would think Christians would be interested in providing as many people as possible with decent health care.