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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Obamacare and the Constitution

There are aspects of Obamacare that have been identified as unconstitutional, according to an
editorial by Greg Scandlan: “Read the Fine Print,” in Investor’s Business Daily, May 19, 2010.

1.The individual mandate requires the uninsured to buy a plan. This is the most likely place for legal objections to begin.
2. Another provision likely to be disputed as regards its constitutionality is the expansion of Medicaid that forces states to increase spending on that program.

But even if one or both were stricken, the bulk of Obamacare would remain. However, as Scandlan indicates, due to a little-known legal concept the entire law could unravel if a single part lay outside the Constitution. He notes: “Apparently there was no ‘severability’ clause written into this law, which shows how amateurish the process was. 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.”

Some Constitutional scholars don’t have much confidence that the courts will overturn the law.  But, Ronald Trowbridge, a senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, says there is still hope. “Consensus holds that it will take two years for the constitutional challenge to progress through the federal district court, then the appellate court, and finally the Supreme Court,” he wrote on Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com blog.  “In the meantime, it is possible that an injunction from the district or appellate courts could put the entire bill on hold until the injunction is lifted or the case finally resolved.”  One can only hope.


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