Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
The U.S. government is using the Commerce and Supremacy Clauses as its constitutional basis for passing its healthcare reform bill, but it misrepresents the Constitution.
This is the final and perhaps the most important installment in the five-part survey of the law we have named for its chief patron: ObamaCare. I have identified the various tax increases; the advocates' preposterous pretexts for its enactment; the defects of many of those arguments, including the Commerce Clause and the Supremacy Clause; and the noble efforts being made by several state legislatures and executives to nullify the unconstitutional acts of Congress and its accompanying mandates.
A new Gallup poll reports that President Barack Obama's approval rating has dropped below 50 percent for the first time since his inauguration. Respondents in that poll indicated that the healthcare law (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) that the President signed on March 23 amid praise and proclamations is just too costly.
On March 23, 2010, attorneys general from 18 states filed suit against the national government in the United States District Court, Northern District Florida, accusing it of committing “an unprecedented encroachment on the liberty of individuals living in the Plaintiffs’ respective states, by mandating that all citizens and legal residents of the United States have qualifying healthcare coverage or pay a tax penalty.”
As I wrote yesterday in the introduction to this series on ObamaCare, the aim of the survey is not to identify this or that provision in the act that shocks the conscience of constitutionalists (death panels, care rationing, RDIF implantation, etc.), rather our goal is to keep our focus on the lack of constitutional authority for this law, specifically buttressing the proposition that nowhere in our founding document do “we the people” empower Congress or the President to act in this sphere of activity.
On March 23, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. With his signature, the President obliterated the formerly inviolate barricades around state sovereignty, and significantly reduced the circumference of the choice of viable healthcare insurance options. In addition, by making the purchase of medical care insurance compulsory, he has forever changed the notion of the power of government to deprive citizens of their property without due process in violation of their unalienable and constitutional rights. That's quite an accomplishment even for a man as proudly audacious as Barack Obama.
There are many frightening aspects of the new healthcare law hidden around every corner of its legislative labyrinth, camouflaged behind dense impenetrable briars of legalese. But, like the purloined letter of literature, there plenty of the law’s detestable provisions hiding in plain sight.
As a candidate, Barack Obama repeatedly promised never to raise taxes on American families earning less than $250,000 a year or on individuals earning less than $200,000. He reiterated that vow on February 24, 2009 during an address to Congress. On March 23, 2010 the president broke that promise, however, when he signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, codifying thereby every one of its component taxes and penalties.
Satisfying the simultaneous desires to be a member of the winning team and yet be worthy of individual attention, self-described “pro-life” Congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan finagled a feting by President Obama hours before the vote on the healthcare “reform” bill. To the surprise of no one familiar with President Obama’s ability to attract allies, Representative Stupak emerged from the meeting and anti-climatically declared his intent to support the bill.
It’s becoming customary to pass healthcare bills late at night and on holidays and weekends. It happened again Sunday night as the House of Representatives by a vote of 219 for and 212 against to pass healthcare legislation and give President Obama the landmark slice of social engineering that was the premier plank of his platform.