Reagan’s Solicitor General: “No Brainer” That Individual Mandate is Constitutional

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    Per ThinkProgress, here’s Ronald Reagan’s Solicitor General, Charles Fried, completely refuting everything Ken Cuccinelli has been saying about the “individual mandate” (which, I’ll remind everyone for the gazillionth time, was originally a REPUBLICAN idea):

    I think there are lots of problems with [the health care reform bill]…but I am quite sure that the health care mandate is constitutional...the healthcare mandate really is — I would have said a “no brainer,” but I mustn’t, with such intelligent brains going the other way.

    Clearly, insurance is commerce. That was held by the Supreme Court in 1944…it has been ever since…the Congress and the courts obviously think insurance is commerce. And health care insurance surely is commerce, insuring as it does something like 18% of the gross national product.

    Now, if that’s so, if health care insurance is commerce, then does Congress have the right to regulate health care insurance? Of course it does. And my authorities are not recent, they go back to John Marshall, who sat in the Virginia legislature at the time they ratified the constitution, and who in 1824, in Gibbons v. Ogden, said regarding Congress’ commerce power, “What is this power? It is the power to regulate, that is to prescribe the rule whereby commerce is governed.” To my mind, that is the end of the story, the constitutional basis for the mandate.

    And as they say in court, “case closed!” 🙂

    UPDATE: In health insurance-related news, see the “flip” for video showing how Republican Congressmen are giving their staff taxpayer-funded healthcare. Does that mean they’re all socialists? Sure seems that way, based on their own (il)logic. LOL

    • Jim B

      Apparently the country is not ruled by laws anymore, but by right wing judges making stuff up. If this thing ever reaches the SC it will probably be treated the same. The Fla. judge supposedly said he paid out of his pocket for his kids birth and this is supposed to be his guide for this judgment.  

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      Ever since right-wingers made putting ideologues on the courts one of their main goals back around the election of Ronald Reagan, we have seen judges put on the bench at all levels who reflect that ideological outlook. So, John Roberts assures the Senate that he will respect legal precedent and then proceeds to ignore legal precedent. Samuel Alito shakes his head and mouths “No” when the president points out the obvious truth that the Citizens United decision overturned scores precedents concerning the rights of Congress to regulate conditions for federal elections. And, most infamously, the Supreme Court overturns the right of the Florida Supreme Court to decide how the 2000 state recount will be done and dares to insist that the Bush v Gore decision should not be a precedent for the future. (Huh??) I’m not surprised that the GOPers cherry-picked the places where they decided to challenge the new health care bill in order to get the most biased judges they could find. Par for their course.