“When the Supreme Court hears the state challenge to ObamaCare later this year, most of the attention will likely be on the challenge to the law’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance and its implications for the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. But in a somewhat unexpected move, the Supreme Court has decided to allow for a full hour of oral argument regarding another part of the case: the expansion of Medicaid, the joint federal-state health program for the poor and disabled, which is expected to account for half of the law’s health coverage expansion.”

“That is, states must now accept a comprehensive reorganization of Medicaid or forfeit all federal Medicaid funding—even though the spending power is circumscribed to preserve a distinction between what is local and what is national. If Congress is allowed to attach conditions to spending that the states cannot refuse in order to achieve an objective it could not outright mandate, the local/national distinction that is so central to federalism will be erased.”

“Twenty-six states on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to overturn the health care reform law’s mandatory state expansion of the Medicaid program, a sleeper issue in the health care reform lawsuit that could determine how much leverage the federal government has with the states on any issue.
The states, led by Florida, argue that the federal government can’t force them to expand the Medicaid program, which has operated as a partnership between the feds and the states, as part of the 2010 health reform law. They argue that the Medicaid expansion is possibly more coercive than the law’s individual mandate.”

“More than 100 congressional Republicans signed a brief Friday urging the Supreme Court to strike down the entire healthcare reform law if it finds the law’s individual mandate unconstitutional… More than 100 economists, including Nobel laureates, joined a separate brief Friday on the issue of severability. That brief, filed by the American Action Forum, says the cost of the healthcare law would skyrocket without the mandate, making it unlikely that Congress would have passed the law without it.”

“The Obama administration is headed into a Supreme Court case over healthcare reform without a clear answer to significant questions about Congress’s power… Several lower courts have said the mandate falls within the bounds of the Commerce Clause, but even they have been wary about the Justice Department’s inability to clearly define a limit on Congress’s power.”

“The Goldwater Institute’s lawsuit challenges IPAB’s very existence as an unlawful delegation of congressional power. Although most of the legal challenges to Obamacare have focused on the individual mandate to purchase government-prescribed health insurance, IPAB is no less central to the overall regulatory scheme. Many members of Congress voted for Obamacare only when convinced of the dubious premise that the law would constrain health-care costs. If IPAB is removed, the flimsy cost-containment rationale will disappear as well.”

“This article chronicles the (first) year I spent opposing the constitutionality of Obamacare: Between debates, briefs, op-eds, blogging, testimony, and media, I have spent well over half of my time since the legislation’s enactment on attacking Congress’s breathtaking assertion of federal power in this context. Braving transportation snafus, snowstorms, and Eliot Spitzer, it’s been an interesting ride. And so, weaving legal arguments into first-person narrative, I hope to add a unique perspective to an important debate that goes to the heart of this nation’s founding principles.”

“President Obama’s healthcare reform law will be under attack on every conceivable front next year. Its first life-or-death experience lies in the hands of the Supreme Court, which could potentially strike down the Affordable Care Act as early as June… Legislation to remove the long-term-care CLASS Act could get through the Senate after the administration declared the program isn’t sustainable. And a House bill to repeal the law’s independent payment advisory board, one of the few provisions to control costs, has at least 12 Democratic co-sponsors.”

“The Supreme Court will begin on March 26 with one hour of arguments on whether it can reach a decision on the reform law before 2014. There is a possibility that a separate federal law will prevent the courts from ruling until the law’s individual mandate has taken effect. On March 27, the justices will hear two hours of arguments on the core question of whether the mandate is unconstitutional. And on March 28, the court will hear arguments on two issues: how much, if any, of the law’s other provisions can be upheld if the mandate is unconstitutional, and whether the health law’s Medicaid expansion is constitutional.”

“Voters want the Supreme Court to overturn President Obama’s healthcare law, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.
The survey showed 48 percent support for the court striking down the healthcare law, compared to 40 percent who said the court should uphold it.”