“The Senate on Wednesday voted down a repeal of President Obama’s healthcare law in a 47-51 party-line vote.
The vote came two weeks to the day the Republican House voted 245-189 to repeal the law, and just days after a federal judge ruled Obama’s signature legislative achievement is unconstitutional. Republicans have vowed to carry the fight forward, saying they will seek to de-fund the law as it is implemented. The GOP also has promised Wednesday’s repeal vote will not be the last in this Congress.”

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“The Senate Judiciary Committee held its first-ever hearing on the constitutionality of ObamaCare yesterday, and talk about a barn door closing. After federal Judge Roger Vinson struck down on Monday the entire statute in a suit brought by 26 states, some states are already suspending any efforts to comply with its regulations and mandates.”

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“President Obama and his congressional allies want to create the perception that Obamacare is a done deal, and that Republicans need to get over it. But the events of the past week show quite clearly that that’s far from the reality. Since its passage, Obamacare has rested on shaky ground, owing to the heavy-handed tactics used to jam it through Congress against the wishes of a majority of the electorate. But now, after the Florida court decision and the vote in the Senate on repeal, Obamacare is more vulnerable than ever — politically, legally, and operationally.”

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“Judge Vinson’s ruling has made it all the more pressing for Congress to come up with alternatives to the 2010 health care law. Abandoning the individual mandate and offering Americans a range of choices modeled after the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan would be a substantial improvement.”

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“There will obviously be appeals, and ultimately it will be the Supreme Court that settles the issue. For the time being, however, the federal government cannot enforce the PPACA against any of the 26 states who are parties to this lawsuit, or against the individuals and the National Federation of Independent Business, who are also plaintiffs in this case. Our task will now be to defend Judge Vinson’s excellent decision through the appeals process.”

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“Liberal pundits who have consulted liberal law professors about liberals’ great achievement — ObamaCare — are pronouncing the ruling by Judge Roger Vinson to be much to do about nothing. The ruling is. . . um. . . thinking of a case liberals hate. . . um. . . just like Bush v. Gore ! (Except it has nothing to do with the Equal Protection Clause or any other aspect of that case.) It is, we are told, ‘curious,’ ‘odd,’ or ‘unconventional.’
These are complaints, not legal arguments.”

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“As Judge Vinson took pains to emphasize, the case is not really about health care at all, or the wisdom—we would argue the destructiveness—of the newest entitlement. Rather, the Florida case goes to the core of the architecture of the American system, and whether there are any remaining limits on federal control. Judge Vinson’s 78-page ruling in favor of 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business, among others, is by far the best legal vindication to date of Constitutional principles that form the outer boundaries of federal power.”

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“There are four key components to Judge Vinson’s opinion: (1) a ruling that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s dramatic expansion of Medicaid is not coercive to the states; (2) that the individual mandate exceeds Congressional powers to regulate interstate commerce; (3) that the individual mandate exceeds Congressional prerogatives to enact laws that are “necessary and proper” for executing its delegated powers; (4) that the individual mandate was essential to the functioning of other critical components of PPACA, and therefore the entire law must be overturned.”

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“Judge Vinson’s opinion is laced with quotes from Madison, Hamilton, and the Federalist Papers. And because he believes that the individual mandate exceeds Congress’s commerce power, is without logical limitation, and far exceeds the existing legal boundaries established by Supreme Court precedent — because, Vinson argues, it cannot be reconciled with a limited government of enumerated powers and would remove all limits on federal power — he declared the Act unconstitutional.”

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“The free-rider problem was caused by clumsy government policy. The solution to the problem, therefore, isn’t to add more clumsy government policy on top: it is to fix the original policy. PPACA’s individual mandate is not needed to address the free-rider problem. Furthermore, aspects of the individual mandate have nothing to do with the free-rider problem.”

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