Obama’s Healthcare Mandate: The Power to Tax is the Power to Destroy!
In regard to the controversial decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Pres. Obama’s Affordable Care Act, first thing that we need to understand is that the U.S. Constitution is entirely different from the Philippine Constitution in terms of welfare provisions. For instance, the US Charter does not provide any provision on state-subsidized health care, education, housing, food stamp, etc. Our Constitution makes it optional for the government to provide any of these welfare services.
So, it’s very clear that America’s founding fathers did not intend to conceive a Constitution that would force, coerce, compel its people to buy or to be covered by government-mandated health insurance.
However, how did the U.S. Supreme Court go around with that prohibition to justify Dictator Obama’s socialized healthcare plan?
It was conservative justice John Roberts who saved the day for Obama. In his controversial, anti-constitutional majority opinion, Roberts opined:
“The Affordable care act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably characterized as a tax. Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.”
It’s very clear that the basis for the alleged constitutionality of Obama’s healthcare mandate, according to Roberts, is not the Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause. Why? Roberts explained this in the following manner:
“That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.”
A lot of free market individuals (people who advocate capitalism and limited government) have argued that the U.S. Congress cannot use the interstate commerce clause to compel or force American citizens to buy government-mandated health insurance or any healthcare services. The power to regulate interstate commerce does not include the power to compel individuals.
I was thinking, there was no way the Supreme Court could justify the purported constitutionality or legality of Obama’s draconian healthcare mandate. I was wrong. A lot of people were wrong.
From Roberts’ opinion:
“Under the mandate, if an individual does not maintain health insurance, the only consequence is that he must make an additional payment to the IRS when he pays his taxes. See §5000A(b). That, according to the Government, means the mandate can be regarded as establishing acondition—not owning health insurance—that triggers atax—the required payment to the IRS. Under that theory, the mandate is not a legal command to buy insurance.Rather, it makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning
income. And if the mandate is in effect just a tax hike on certain taxpayers who do not have health insurance, it may be within Congress’s constitutional power to tax.”
“…analysis here suggests that the shared responsibilitypayment may for constitutional purposes be considered a tax, not a penalty: First, for most Americans the amount due will be far less than the price of insurance, and, by statute, it can never be more.
“…Second, the individual mandate contains no scienter requirement. Third, the payment is collected solely by theIRS through the normal means of taxation—except thatthe Service is not allowed to use those means most suggestive of a punitive sanction, such as criminal prosecution. See §5000A(g)(2). The reasons the Court in Drexel Furniture held that what was called a “tax” there was a penalty support the conclusion that what is called a “penalty” heremay be viewed as a tax.
Who would have thought that five members of the Supreme Court would introduce a statist legal doctrine or interpretation that goes entirely against the spirit of the American Constitution? Didn’t the founding fathers explicitly say that the Constitution was conceived to limit the perilous powers of the government? The Constitution is a limitation on the coercive powers of government; it does not grant power to the government. This is one reason why they introduced federalism as a system of government to prevent the national or federal government from abusing its designated, delegated constitutional powers. This is the reason why James Madison strongly rejected the idea of national government, which holds “an authority over the individual citizens” as well as “indefinite supremacy over all persons and things, so far as they are objects of lawful government”.
This statist legal doctrine is the Congress’s ‘power to tax’. But what is the limitation of that power to tax? Did the framers of the American Constitution intend to make the Congress the provider of all welfare services under the alleged constitutional imprimatur of that branch’s power to tax?
Is the sky the limit?
Is the Supreme Court trying to say that the Congress may create similar legislation (e.g., Affordable Housing Act, Affordable Food Act, Affordable Cars Act, Affordable Telecom Services Act, etc.) using the same statist doctrine?
However, Pres. Obama absolutely rejected the notion that his healthcare mandate is a tax!
The following is an except of Obama’s must-see interview with News’ George Stephanopoulos:
STEPHANOPOULOS: … during the campaign. Under this mandate, the government is forcing people to spend money, fining you if you don’t. How is that not a tax?
OBAMA: Well, hold on a second, George. Here—here’s what’s happening. You and I are both paying $900, on average—our families—in higher premiums because of uncompensated care. Now what I’ve said is that if you can’t afford health insurance, you certainly shouldn’t be punished for that. That’s just piling on. If, on the other hand, we’re giving tax credits, we’ve set up an exchange, you are now part of a big pool, we’ve driven down the costs, we’ve done everything we can and you actually can afford health insurance, but you’ve just decided, you know what, I want to take my chances. And then you get hit by a bus and you and I have to pay for the emergency room care, that’s …
STEPHANOPOULOS: That may be, but it’s still a tax increase.
OBAMA: No. That’s not true, George. The—for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it’s saying is, is that we’re not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase. People say to themselves, that is a fair way to make sure that if you hit my car, that I’m not covering all the costs.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But it may be fair, it may be good public policy …
OBAMA: No, but—but, George, you—you can’t just make up that language and decide that that’s called a tax increase. Any …
STEPHANOPOULOS: Here’s the …
OBAMA: What—what—if I—if I say that right now your premiums are going to be going up by 5 or 8 or 10 percent next year and you say well, that’s not a tax increase; but, on the other hand, if I say that I don’t want to have to pay for you not carrying coverage even after I give you tax credits that make it affordable, then …
STEPHANOPOULOS: I—I don’t think I’m making it up. Merriam Webster’s dictionary: Tax—”a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes.”
OBAMA: George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition. I mean what …
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, no, but …
OBAMA: … what you’re saying is …
STEPHANOPOULOS: I wanted to check for myself. But your critics say it is a tax increase.
OBAMA: My critics say everything is a tax increase. My critics say that I’m taking over every sector of the economy. You know that. Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we’re going to have an individual mandate or not, but …
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you reject that it’s a tax increase?
OBAMA: I absolutely reject that notion.
There you see it, folks! Obama’s Orwellian nature is showing in that interview. According to him, his mandate is not a tax simply because he believes it’s not a tax.
The Supreme Court disagrees with Obama’s illusion. And as we all know, the Supreme Court’s assertion that Obama’s healthcare mandate is a tax is now part of the American jurisprudence… well, for the time being. The high court previously said in its landmark decision that the power to tax is the power to destroy.
Congratulations America for electing a Marxist who intends to gradually destroy your rights and liberty with socialistic mandates.