By JENNIFER HABERKORN | 12/13/10 3:08 PM EST
The Hill pounced on the news today that a federal judge has struck down health reform’s individual mandate-with Republicans welcoming it as the beginning of the end of “Obamacare” and Democrats dubbing it a minor detour on the road to reform.
“The individual mandate at the heart of ObamaCare puts the federal government in the business of forcing you to buy health insurance and taxing you if you don’t. This is unwise, unaffordable, and as we have argued all along, unconstitutional,” said Speaker-elect John Boehner (R-Ohio). ” If Washington thinks it can get away with this kind of power grab, it will think it can do anything. Cash-strapped states should carefully weigh the benefits of investing time and resources in ObamaCare’s implementation now that its central mandate has been ruled unconstitutional.”
Judge Henry Hudson said Congress was outside its legal bounds in crafting the mandate, but didn’t block the federal government from implementing the law. Two other district judges have upheld the legislation, a conflict many expect the Supreme Court to have to sort out.
Incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor called on the Obama administration to join Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who brought the case, in asking the Supreme Court to take the case on an expedited basis.
“In this challenging environment, we must not burden our states, employers, and families with the costs and uncertainty created by this unconstitutional law, and we must take all steps to resolve this issue immediately,” Cantor said. “Further, once the new Republican majority assumes control of the House in January, we will pass a clean repeal of Obamacare. Once that measure is passed, I hope that Leader Reid and the U.S. Senate will finally listen to the majority of Americans who oppose Obamacare and follow suit.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), said it was a “great day for liberty.”
“Congress must obey the Constitution rather than make it up as we go along. Liberty requires limits on government, and today those limits have been upheld,” Hatch said.