Some liberals are joining conservatives in bashing a requirement in the federal health reform law that would force many people to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.
Advocates of a government-run “single payer” health system filed a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the minimum coverage requirement. A brief filed by the activist group Single Payer Action and others attacks the federal government’s claim that Congress cannot regulate the national healthcare market effectively unless it has power to require that citizens buy health coverage:
On the contrary…Congress has already demonstrated that it can regulate healthcare markets effectively by implementing a single payer system such as Medicare or the VHA… the only solution to the healthcare crisis in the United States, which will both control costs and achieve comprehensive coverage for the entire population, is to adopt a national publicly-financed single payer health insurance system, in which one public entity handles billing and other administrative transactions on behalf of all participants.
Of course, they’re attacking the mandate because it doesn’t go far enough, as opposed to conservative opposition because the mandate went too far in increasing government control.
However, the fact that there are now briefs from both lefty and conservative groups opposing the mandate is likely to have an effect on the Supreme Court arguments later this year. After all, if both ends of the political spectrum say the mandate is a bad idea, then it probably does need to be struck down. If the mandate gets struck down, then whether or not the Justices strike down the rest of the law, it’s highly likely that the rest of ObamaCare will crumble under its own weight anyway.
It is possible that the Justices could rewrite the whole thing into a single-payer system, but I find that possibility remote, because I don’t think the usual “swing vote” Justice, Anthony Kennedy, would want to rewrite a law from the bench, as much as the lefty members of the Court would like to.
Overall, I think that an opposition brief from the left side of the aisle is probably to the advantage of those fighting to overturn this monstrosity, but one never knows exactly what this Supreme Court is going to do until it does it.