June 8, 2012
By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JUNE 8, 2012
The Obama administration recognizes that it may actually be handed a defeat later this month if the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate that obligates Americans to buy health insurance from a government program or worse, if the judges find Obamacare unconstitutional as a whole. While a decision is made by the Supreme Court justices, the administration is taking steps to cope with a defeat that could be decisive during an election year both politically and in the economic realm.
Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius officially announced what she called contingency plans should Obamacare be rejected as unlawful by the US Supreme Court. The Court does not need to declare Obamacare illegal in order to cause chaos for the administration. A declaration that the controversial individual mandate violates individual rights, would basically and automatically defund Obamacare, because it is based on the use of government force that the Obama administration intends to finance its program.
The prospect of defeat raised awareness in the Federal Government and all responsible parties are now working extra time to mitigate the impact of a decision not to uphold Obamacare. While she was speaking at a women’s health town hall meeting held at the White House, Kathleen Sebelius said that although the government remained optimistic, they were also preparing for the worst. “We are confident and optimistic that this change within the law was well within the purview of Congress. Having said that, we’ll be ready for court contingencies,” she said. Sebelius made sure to use scare tactics in order to seek support and to put pressure on the Court’s decision. She added that if Obamacare is stroke down such a decision would have a “pretty cataclysmic impact”. Her explanation went on to say that such outcome would indeed undo what she called the “incredible changes and improvements to Medicare.
The Obama administration’s hopes are now riding on a positive decision by the Court that ratifies the healthcare law based on the premise that the judges will consider the large number of people who will allegedly benefit from socialized medicine, many of whom, Obama himself has said, cannot afford to pay for healthcare themselves. This is often added to other measures included in the legislation which allow children to remain under their parents’ health coverage and a mandate for insurance companies not to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.
The parts of the law that the Obama administration does not want the justices or the public to remember is that constitutionally, government cannot obligate an individual to buy insurance. It must be a decision made by each person. But since the success of the law depends on the financing provided by all participants, a declaration that the individual mandate is unconstitutional would effectively defund Obamacare. “What we’re doing right now is just working as hard as we possibly can to get ready for 2014,” Sebelius said, referring to the time when most of the law will actually take effect.