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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.

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the group, told the Detroit Free Press that he will challenge the judge's order.

"ObamaCare is one of the most oppressive measures in the history of our nation," Thompson said in a statement. "And it was passed by Congress, despite overwhelming opposition of the American people. It was not about reforming health care, but government seizure of unprecedented power over our lives."

It's this type of non-sensical rhetoric that Obama must do a better job of combating.

Being able to go to the doctor and not going bankrupt because you've become ill is oppressive? The cost of Americans not having health insurance is simply too great. It is the government who ends up shouldering the costs of those who do not have insurance anyway.

"Almost every single learned scholar who has a reputation in constitutional law knows that this law is constitutional by virtue of the commerce clause, which was decided in the 1930s that the federal government has jurisdiction over economic matters that cross state lines and are significant to the national economy," John Freeman, Michigan director of Health Care for America Now, a national coalition of individuals and organizations working to reform health care, told the Detroit Free Press. "It is obviously clear, with health care representing one fourth of the economy, that this is going to meet that standard."

A Florida judge has allowed the 20 state lawsuit challenge to health care reform to go forward. A ruling on whether to dismiss the case is expected next week, but I have a feeling this will end up at the Supreme Court.
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Well alright...a precedent has been set.  This will make the upcoming battles more interesting to watch...

I understand the debate over whether the interstate commerce clause allows for the govt to MANDATE that citizens buy health insurance from private insurance companies (I think), but i'm curious about why states and attorney generals are trying to describe access to healthcare as oppressive...?

Is there some actual justification beyond We don't like that Nword in the whitehouse telling us what to do? 
I understand the debate over whether the interstate commerce clause allows for the govt to MANDATE that citizens buy health insurance from private insurance companies (I think), but i'm curious about why states and attorney generals are trying to describe access to healthcare as oppressive...?

I believe the premise is that it is a type of "punishment" on a person who doesn't pay for health care coverage (out of pocket) by taxing them for it (and rather steeply, it seems) in order to make them pay.

Therefore, the government is being "oppressive" for forcing an entire population to adhere to a sort of "shotgun payment system" (pay, or else!) by mandating that it be done.

And I'm not so sure I disagree with them on that! 
I think that insurance companies are using this as an excuse to raise rates, mine just went up as of 1 Oct 2010 and I have family standard rates. They want to put the heat on the Obama administration and make him look incompentent, while at the same time they are spending our premiums to support lobby groups and fringe groups like the Tea Party. It frankly pisses me off.
Politicians that sued were only grandstanding and faking opposition to this bill to appease their racist base.  They knew when they sued that it was legal, but only used this waste of taxpayers money to make it appear that they were going or going do something about it.  

I really don't see how insurance companies can price-gauge the people on this new healthcare policy considering that taxpayers are funding all the enormous subsidies, tax credits/write-offs that big insurance companies are getting already (which is the only reason that people who do have insurance, have it at a reasonable rate).  So all accept the pre-existing, age 25 for children, and requirement to have insurance, health insurance has ALWAYS been funded by the taxpayers.  

I would like the opposition to show how requiring people to have health insurance is any different than requiring people to have automobile insurance, homeowners insurance, employers to have workers compensation insurance?
The health care bill they passed is a very wussy version of health care reform, that can only work if the people are required to buy into a plan.  There were other, better options for health care reform, that wouldn't have needed that kind of requirement.  The democrats were trying too hard to get right wing support for the idea of health care, so they ended up with a terrible plan that can't work without this compulsion.  If I'm "required" to buy into a plan BECAUSE the government lacked the will to pass a better bill than that, then that's not my problem, and it's not right.  The judge's comment about that being a "reasonable" measure to get health care reform is only valid if there wasn't a more effective way to get it done. 

If these suits get to the Supreme Court, that court will strike the bill down.  And they should.

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