“Already, Medicaid is the second largest item on the average state budget at 21% (education is first at 22%). But according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that is all about to change very soon thanks to Obamacare. Remember, more than half of the health care coverage expansion under Obamacare is attained by placing Americans on Medicaid. CMS projects that state and local spending on Medicaid will increase 41.4% between 2010 and 2011. 41%!!!”

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“And yet the future of our health care system need not depend at all, as the future of our legal system unfortunately does to a considerable degree, on the whims of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Obamacare is a disaster for a host of reasons of which the individual mandate is only one. The 112th Congress need not wait for the courts to decide the fate of the mandate. For reasons constitutional, economic, and moral, Congress can repeal Obamacare and replace it with real health care reform.”

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Health care regulations create new costs to employers when hiring additional staff. ObamaCare’s new rules create strong disincentives for firms to hire low-wage workers or expand their businesses. “With higher-skill jobs, employers can offer the required benefits and pay for them by cutting the wage. But low-wage jobs in the restaurant and retail sectors leave little room for cuts in wages.”

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“Critics contend that Judge Hudson has unduly restricted Congress’s authority to regulate interstate commerce, the principal basis on which the government defends the law. Some also claim that he ignored the ‘necessary and proper’ clause of the Constitution, which allows Congress leeway to choose how to put in place national economic programs. Yet a closer reading shows that Judge Hudson’s analysis could prove irresistible to the Supreme Court and that there is a reasonable chance it will agree that the insurance mandate is invalid.”

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“A federal judge in a 20-state lawsuit against the Obama administration’s health overhaul signaled Thursday he is sympathetic to the plaintiffs’ argument that requiring Americans to carry health insurance violates the Constitution.”

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In light of this week’s good news on the legal front of the war against ObamaCare, Medical Progress Today, a project of the Manhattan Institute, asked a collection of leading health policy experts for their opinions on whether ObamaCare can still stand if the individual mandate is removed.

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“Yesterday liberals were crowing that even if the mandate is eventually declared illegal, it’s no big deal because the rest of ObamaCare’s new system would remain intact. Yet they’ve argued for years that the mandate is essential to health reform, because the mandate is at the heart of the regulatory machine. ObamaCare without a mandate would mean individuals wouldn’t have to pay into a system until they were sick, driving up costs even faster and ruining what’s left of health insurance markets.”

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“Attorneys for 20 states fighting the new federal health care law told a judge Thursday it will expand the government’s powers in dangerous and unintended ways. The states want U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson to issue a summary judgment throwing out the health care law without a full trial. They argue it violates people’s rights by forcing them to buy health insurance by 2014 or face penalties. ‘The act would leave more constitutional damage in its wake than any other statute in our history,’ David Rivkin, an attorney for the states, told Vinson.”

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ObamaCare expands Medicaid by 16 million new enrollees, but current beneficiaries get poor quality care and face long wait times to find doctors. Providers frequently refuse to treat Medicaid patients because the reimbursement rates are so low. “Once the new law is fully in effect, roughly one in five Americans will carry a Medicaid card. But the combination of rapid beneficiary growth with benefit and provider cuts threatens to render their cards useless.”

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“Rising entitlement spending is already driving the federal budget off a cliff. But Obamacare would add fuel to the fire with the largest entitlement expansion since the 1960s. So it takes a special kind of audacity for Obamacare’s apologists to continue to insist that the new law will cut the projected budget deficits. Evidence clearly shows otherwise.”

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