If the Supreme Court fails to overturn the 2010 healthcare reform law, it will essentially remove any ceiling on congressional power, says Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.
“If this law is upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court, then there’s virtually nothing that’s beyond Congress’s reach, and I think that would be a horrible, horrible precedent for the country,” he told Politico
Lee likely doesn’t have to worry much. Most legal experts predict the court will overturn the Affordable Care Act’s mandate requiring individuals to buy health insurance.
While some elements of Obamacare may be popular, the overall implications are horrid, says Lee, a former law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. “In any law, you can point to the words ‘but,’ ‘and,’ and ‘the’ and say that they’re unobjectionable. But of course we’re not looking at individual words. We’re looking at the effect of the legislation,” he said.
“The effect of this legislation is to dramatically expand the size and scope and cost of the federal government into the healthcare arena, and it does so in a way that’s unprecedented and on a constitutional foundation that is, at best, highly questionable.”
Lee says Republicans shouldn’t rush to replace any of Obamacare’s elements that are rejected by the court, even popular ones. Instead, either private insurance companies can provide what’s needed or states can implement healthcare reform, whether it’s a single-payer or market-based system.
“I think it’s very important to remember that states can do things that the federal government can’t do,” Lee explains. “Historically, it’s been states that license and regulate health insurance companies. So each state is going to make its own decision.”
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