Did We Win?

So... Did We Win?

Today has some very odd stories all over Memeorandum. I'm starting to think that the health care bill has died on us, while showing every sign of rocketing to a successful close.

I'm not sure why this is happening. I mean, I know about the polls; and I recognize that the left and the right both hate it. I understand that it's a terrible mess, and I've got no idea why anyone would actually want to pass it. However, until today I've been convinced that passing it was the first order of business on the minds of the national Democratic party.

It came through the House on a squeaker, though; and the Senate version passed with a zero-vote margin to spare. Now Congress has to come home on recess, to constituents who are very angry about the whole thing. When they come back in January, apparently the President wants to do something else for a while -- until after his State of the Union speech, at least.

Meanwhile, constitutional challenges to the program continue to mount. Here's another one:

Conservative critics contend that the provision violates the Constitution's "takings clause," which says "private property [cannot] be taken for public use, without just compensation."

Democrats counter that the mandate is necessary to make the planned overhaul of the health-care system work, and ensure that as many people as possible participate in the system. Under the Senate bill, individuals who don't purchase coverage would face a financial penalty up to $750.
The reply to the charge that the law is unconstitutional is, "It's necessary to our plans"? Shouldn't that call the whole project into question, then?

Yes, it should, especially given the Fifth Amendment (Prof. Epstein), First Amendment (re: abortion, both sides), Tenth Amendment (this appears to be an area constitutionally left to the states) and no-obvious-authorization-in-the-Constitution-anyway issues.

I'm starting to wonder if the weight of all this, especially its poisonous polling, is starting to weigh it down. After a symbolic end-of-year victory, the Senate will adjourn. What happens in the New Year? I'd have thought a quick conference committee, and a done deal; but perhaps not, after all.

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