Several thoughts from our perspective on the individual mandate decision in Virgina today:
As our friends at Cato said (here, here, and here), it's nice to be reminded every once in a while that the federal government has limited and enumerated powers.
If the individual mandate is stripped out, it makes all of Obamacare inoperable. Insurance companies would have to issue products on demand to people who would have no legal obligation to not game the system. Obamacare without a mandate would force lawmakers to decide whether they wanted to give the legislative death penalty to health insurance companies. If you think health care is bad with insurance companies, imagine getting your insurance from the government instead.
While the heart of Obamacare would be ripped out by striking the mandate, the arms and legs would remain. Twenty-five of those arms and legs are all the new tax hikes in Obamacare. As people rightly focus on the spending and regulation in Obamacare, it's important to keep in mind that the bill was also one of the largest tax hikes in history. Striking out the individual mandate only would overturn (at most) two of those twenty-five tax hikes.
- Those of us committed to Obamacare repeal must pursue all judicial, legislatives, and executive solutions. We cannot be tempted to use the courts as a "deus ex machina" here.