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.
U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who has earned a "Freedom Index" rating of 90 percent in the current Congress to date, has introduced a bill in the House to repeal ObamaCare. In her press release, Bachmann reminded her constituents that “the government already owns or controls about one-third of U.S. economic activity through the takeover of General Motors, the bankruptcy reorganizations of Chrysler, the partial ownership of two of the country’s largest banks in Bank of America and Citigroup, and the seizure of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as AIG. Taken all together, [with ObamaCare] we’re looking at half of the American economy in the grip of the federal government.” Bachmann said that it “will do nothing to spur economic growth … [but] will serve only as an obstacle to actual recovery and smother the spirit of innovation and freedoms that made this country great.”
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.
“This is what change looks like,” announced a jubilant President Obama on March 21, shortly after the House passage of healthcare legislation that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has likened in importance to Social Security and Medicare. Much as we are reluctant to agree with either Obama or Pelosi, it must be acknowledged that America’s move into full-blown socialized medicine is without a doubt a defining moment in American history.
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.
Far from being over, opponents vowed that the battle over healthcare “reform” is really just getting started after the measure won narrow House approval on March 21. States, non-profit groups, citizens and federal lawmakers are all preparing to fight back against the legislation, pursuing various strategies including nullification through state laws, repealing the bill in Congress and challenging its constitutionality in court.
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.