“More than a dozen Catholic bishops — including Washington’s — sued the Obama administration on Monday, ratcheting up the standoff between church officials and the White House over a government mandate requiring employers to provide contraception coverage. Catholic bishops were already leading the fight against the mandate, which requires most religious organizations to provide the coverage, although houses of worship are exempt.”

“Quinnipiac University is out with a new poll of voters in three key swing states—Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The headline is that Romney slightly leads Obama in Florida and Ohio, whereas Obama is winning Pennsylvania. But the poll also asked voters if they wanted the Supreme Court to overturn Obamacare, and in all three states, voters said ‘yes.'”

“President Obama was once a lecturer on constitutional law, but he appears to be a little rusty. Most of what he has said recently about the Supreme Court case challenging the constitutionality of the health-care law he signed has been ill-informed.”

“The most astonishing result is that while, as expected, two-thirds of Republicans want all of Obamacare struck down, about half of Democrats do not want the Court to uphold all of Obamacare. Half of Democrats do not fully support President Obama’s crowning domestic achievement, the fulfillment of a ‘century of trying’ and as Representative Clyburn put it, the 21st-century Civil Rights bill!”

“Absent the mandate, ObamaCare will not function as intended because the program’s coverage guarantee and expansion is financed, in part, through cross-subsidies generated by mandating that individuals purchase insurance policies that cost several times more than their expected insurance claims. Defenders of ObamaCare rationalize these compulsory transfers as inherent to “insurance,” which they erroneously present as a system where low-risk policyholders are expected to overpay for their coverage to reduce the cost of the policies for those with predictably high claims.”

“Many of its opponents were passionately convinced that ObamaCare marked an unprecedented and ominous interference by the federal government in the lives of American citizens. At the root of these fears lay the provision of the program known as the individual mandate. If the government could make us buy health insurance, or incur a penalty for failing to, what could stop it from compelling people to purchase electric cars, memberships in a health club, or, that old favorite, broccoli—indeed, anything at all?”

“The main argument for a mandate before the Supreme Court was that people of modest means can fail to buy insurance, and then rely on charity care in emergency rooms, shifting the cost to the rest of us. But the expenses of emergency room treatment for indigent uninsured people are not health-care’s central cost problem. Costs are rising because people who do have insurance, and their doctors, overuse health services and don’t shop on price, and because regulations have salted insurance with ever more coverage for them to overuse.”

“President Obama is backtracking from his remarks challenging the Supreme Court’s power to strike down congressionally approved laws after a federal judge demanded that the Justice Department clarify Obama’s views. Obama’s remarks about the Supreme Court’s power to kill his health care reform law simply lacked proper context, administration officials argued Wednesday.”

“Hitherto, most attention has been given to whether Congress, under its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce, may coerce individuals into engaging in commerce by buying health insurance. Now the Institute for Justice (IJ), a libertarian public interest law firm, has focused on this fact: The individual mandate is incompatible with centuries of contract law. This is so because a compulsory contract is an oxymoron.”

“The Obama administration rushed its landmark health law to the Supreme Court to get some clarity over its future. So far, all they have is mud. After three days and six hours of arguments, a core provision in President Barack Obama’s signature health law appears to be in serious danger. And Wednesday, it looked quite possible that the entire law could fall.”