Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Zoeller Lawsuit Would Cost Double


Indiana's Attorney General is currently considering filing a lawsuit (no doubt at Mitch Daniels request) against the United States following the passage of the health care reform package and the reconciliation bill. The State of Indiana has spent millions of taxpayer dollars fighting the Obama Administration, and it's rather transparent where it's coming from.

Last year, following Chrysler declaring bankruptcy, Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock sued to try to get the Chrysler bankruptcy halted. Eventually, the bankruptcy went through, but Mourdock's failed attempt to play a political game cost the state millions in legal fees.

This time, it's Greg Zoeller who is considering suing the Feds over the health care bill. At press time, Zoeller has only said he's considering filing suit over the constitutionality of the bill and how it makes it compulsory for those who can afford it to buy health insurance. Now, 10th Amendment advocates will tell you that there is a difference, but this would seem to be a high hurdle to climb to me since it's actually a requirement in Indiana to buy car insurance to drive. It would be an easy argument for the feds to make, and since we require insurance to drive a car, then why should it not be a requirement to buy health insurance? After all, we all pay when someone who doesn't have health insurance cannot or will not pay. If you can afford it, it's irresponsible to not have insurance just like it's irresponsible to risk wrecking a car without insurance.

Unfortunately now that the states are suing, the federal government will have to shell out millions fighting these battles now while the states shell out millions fighting their cases. That's a double whammy to the taxpayer. If Zoeller decides to file, that's state funding that could be going to roads, to schools, to parks, to salaries, to a myriad of other things. Rather than continue to fight this, wouldn't it make sense just to figure out how to implement it?

I don't know if these suits were actually the work of Mourdock or Zoeller alone, but I kind of doubt it. Governor Daniels may have tipped his hand when he came out on Monday and condemned the bill so strongly. Daniels has a great deal of control over all the Statehouse right now except for the Indiana House. Is it too much to assume that Zoeller may be getting his marching orders from Mitch? Makes perfect sense I think...I mean who might be challenging President Barack Obama in 2012 for the Presidency? Hmmm.

1 comment:

Paul K. Ogden said...

The difference between car insurance and health insurance is that the states are requiring the former while the feds are requiring the latter.

The federal government is a government of limited powers. The feds would have to show the imposition of the health insurance requirement is within the list of things the feds can do in Article I, Section 8, the enumerated powers.

I don't think there is any questoin that STATES could impose a health insurance requirement since states have reserve powers and there is nothing in the Constitution that would seem to preclude states from adopting such a law.

The way the feds get around these constitutinoal restrictions on its power is to pass a law saying that if states don't adopt laws the feds prefer, the feds will cut off their highway money or other federal funds. That's how Indiana was forced to adopt the .08 BAC law, the current seat belt law, the old 55 mph speed limit, etc.

In the healthcare bill, Congress bypassed this typical "blackmail" practice and went straight into adopting the law. I can only assume it had to be based on the interstate commerce clause, one of the enumerated powers that Congress has used as a loophole for federal regulation of private business. By using the ICC, the feds can bypass forcing states to adopt laws and adopt those laws themselves. For example, ADA, Family Leave Act, etc.