AMERICAN REFERENDUM

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By: Wayne Brown


The Affordable Healthcare Act….ObamaCare…what a convoluted mess which has only become more so as a result of the vague ruling of the Supreme Court on the law just last week. Essentially, the Court allowed the law to stand as it deals with the definition and functionality of the healthcare act. The Court did not agree with the government’s pleadings which were based on the powers of Congress to regulate under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The Court directed that Congress cannot use that clause as the justification to require the purchase of a product from a specified provider nor can it be used as justification to penalize those who will not or cannot afford such requirements. In no uncertain terms, the Court stated that Congress’ only power to mandate the people in that fashion came under the guise of taxation.


First, let’s give some thought to ObamaCare in practice. Has anyone ever said how much it will cost to provide health insurance for an individual under this law? I have not seen any figures but it is always described as “affordable”, whatever that is by definition. I recently read a post by a lady who said that her family was moving from Maine to Massachusetts in order to take advantage of the healthcare savings in that State’s medical insurance program, which is much akin to ObamaCare. She indicated her family would pay about $2,000 for coverage in Maine (per month, I assume) but could get similar coverage in Massachusetts for $1200 to $1500. Admittedly, that does represent a savings but is it enough of a savings to describe the plan as “affordable”? In my way of thinking, there are still a lot of people who cannot shoulder even that cost on a monthly basis. If the costs under ObamaCare are similar, where does that leave us in regard to affordable healthcare?


According to supporters of the legislation/law, the requirement is there to mandate that those who can purchase insurance will or penalties will be levied. Of course there are also those who will not be able to afford such care, probably a number far larger than those with the means but not the motivation. Once vetted, those folks get an adjusted premium up to and including a free ride. That does not eliminate or reduce the costs of having those people in the system, it simply passes that costs to the taxpayers or (if you want to suggest that it stay in the confines of Obamacare) ups the premium costs to those who are paying their insurance premium costs. There is no choice in that matter for the costs are real and must be absorbed. We can throw semantics around all day but in effect it becomes a “penalty” to those who can pay although it is not administered directly as a punishment for there is no basis for punishment. It then becomes a tax as ruled by the Court.


Obama has stated in his defense that those who cannot afford the premiums will be given tax credits to allow them to lower the costs to an acceptable level. So, now we are using “tax credits” to offset something that he has declared over and over is “not a tax”. At the same time, those who cannot afford the premiums are likely among the 47% of the population in the country that does not pay tax anyway, so how can one take a tax credit when they pay no taxes in the first place? Smoke and mirrors; the whole charade is nothing but smoke and mirrors.


One does not have to look at the Court’s decision very long to realize that Congress has imposed a tax on the people without any representation of the people. One might remember the King of England doing that to those who came to this part of the world seeking freedom from tyranny only to be subject to taxes without any voice in their levy. In that day, taxation without representation was equated to tyranny, plain and simple. This legislation came into law on the premise that it would not be paid for with tax increases but rather a mandate on the people under the Commerce Clause which would spell out the penalties on those who did not comply and also define the requirement to purchase the insurance. The Supreme Court does not see it that way. The Supreme Court says that Congress does not have the power under the Commerce Clause to compel or penalize on revenue which does not yet exist. It goes further to say that the only power which Congress has to accomplish this move is through taxation. If this law goes into implementation and sustainment without due process in the Congress respective to the element of taxation, then it will do so plainly on the basis of tyranny within our Federal Government Executive and Legislative branches.


The Democrats controlled both chambers of the Congress at the time this legislation was passed and sent to the President. Even under that circumstance, there were those on that side of the aisle who refused to vote in support of it if a tax was implied or required. The Commerce Clause mandate was used to convince that resistance to back down. On that basis, in consideration of the taxation as clearly ruled by the Court, the legislation was never debated or vetted as an “intent to tax” therefore the constituents of the Congress, the citizens of the United States of America, were not represented in the process. That fact is as clear as the claims of those who support it in saying “there is no tax” and wishing it to be so that we might “move on”. In other words, okay, we misled you a bit to get what we needed but It is a good deal and it is good for the country so let’s just move forward and forget what has happened. Hopefully, our system of government does not work in that manner. If it does, God help us all.


This law basically puts all healthcare insurance providers in the position that they must be in compliance with all requirements of the law and be in functional interface with the system that manages it. In other words, their computers, software, procedures, etc., etc., must work fully with the system put into place by the government or they can basically hang it up as a provider to the insurance industry. Many of these companies subsist off of the concept of “managed healthcare”. In other words, they are not actually insuring anyone for anything but they are contracted to manage and administer the insurance program for a private company or corporation which is self-insured. For example, General Motors does not buy healthcare insurance for its employees but it may contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield or United HealthCare to administer the program for them and to direct the payout of funds provided by GM for the purpose of healthcare costs. That money comes directly out of the bottom line for GM as the corporation is not insured for coverage except possibly something of a totally catastrophic nature. Regardless, these providers must be able to interface with the universal system and the client, GM must be in compliance with all the directives assigned by the Law in their healthcare program. This is done in the interest of achieving the minimal acceptable levels of coverage for all participants and also in achieving uniformity throughout the system. The implementation cost will be carried by the individual companies and the States in which the exchanges are established. How much does that cost…plenty and eventually it must be passed on to the taxpayer or consumer.


President Obama has attempted to sidestep the “tax” ruling handed down by the Court by using the analogy of state requirements for auto insurance. That argument, when examined closely, does not hold water. In the first place, the requirement is set forth by the state a requirement to be met in return for the privilege to operate an automobile on public streets and highways. Acting on that privilege is still a matter of individual choice and not a mandated requirement as a function of living and breathing. Secondly, the requirement is to show proof of minimum liability coverage which, in effect, protects others from loss and not the purchaser. Thirdly, the only time a penalty is assessed is when the person is found to be operating a vehicle on public roadways without the mandatory liability coverage. All of it pertains to protecting others in some minimal fashion from the actions of those who elect to drive. There is no basis of comparison to that of a mandatory healthcare insurance requirement thus the logic does not hold up.


This legislation came about because a few members of the Democrat Party convinced a lot of other members that a national healthcare program could be implemented as a mandate of the Congress. Those people were lied to by members of their own party and they should be livid in that respect. The American people were lied to over and over on the issue from many perspectives including being told that they would have the ability to choose their provider and that the legislation was “debt-neutral” or basically paid for by design thus it would not provide an added load to the ever-growing national debt. Here again, that is not true in that those who cannot pay for the insurance will receive it for free or for some degree of free. That cost differential must either be absorbed by the premiums of those who can pay and are paying or as a cost paid out of the treasury where approximately 44 cents out of every dollar is borrowed money which must eventually be repaid with interest by the taxpayers. If it migrates into the costs of premiums to those who can pay, how affordable is that and how long will it remain at that level as the unfunded side of the equation grows larger with time and influx of those looking for social support in the shelter of the United States?


This legislation comes into law for one reason and one reason only…it grants the federal government even more power over the people and it further restricts the individual’s rights to choice and the pursuit of happiness. The law also does nothing with respect to the aspect of litigation, a concern those in the medical industry will tell you does more to drive up present day medical costs that anything else. When comparisons of costs are made to other countries with national healthcare plans, this fact is left out of the consideration because the approach to litigation in those countries is completely different or far more regulated than in the USA. Washington is filled with lawyers in elected offices and thus will not impose restrictions upon that profession even in the name of benefit to the citizens yet those same people profess to be concerned about the welfare of the people.


Those who designed this law were convinced that the Federal Government’s power to withold Medicaid payment to non-compliant States would be just the hammer to keep all the States in line and come as close as possible to making this a program in which the majority participated. As a result of the Court’s ruling on that perspective, at present, some 17 States have already stated that the legislation would not be enacted. As States drop out, so does the participation level drop which can only drive up the costs of medical care to this seeking it under the plan. The “affordable” aspect of the plan was premised on the government gaining a majority participation. When that does not occur, the program will have little value except as yet another control mechanism of the government over the people.


Social programs can and do have value in a society but the concept of managed welfare can quickly get out of hand when there are hundreds upon hundreds of elected officials constantly looking for new social programs to add to the spending mix. The old ones do not go away but the new ones are added bringing greater and greater pressure to bear upon the revenue stream and the debt load of the country. On the basis of compassion and mercy, all of us can argue all day to keep growing and growing our social policies until one day, not only is the government bankrupt but it has also taken all that its people have and can produce in the name of “social conscience”. Eventually the big wheel stops turning and there is no one left to help because we drained the last drop. At that point, it will be much too late to attempt change and we will be at the mercy of the rest of the world.


Washington has subsisted for far too long off of the trickery of semantics accounting. Those in government do not talk of spending cuts; they speak of a reduction in the rate of growth in terms of spending meaning that we are only increasing the new budget by 8% and not 10% as in previous years. They speak of reduced growth in debt accumulation but never of a reduction in the size of debt. They speak of the need for a balanced budget as we see mandated at State levels yet even when they have the majority to do it, nothing ever happens. They speak of revamping tax codes and rates and even redesigning the entire tax system to be more aligned with consumerism than profit or earnings yet, even when in the majority, nothing ever happens. The only “new thinking” in Washington comes from those who want to “tax and spend” and expect that while attracting more voters no one will notice the marginal debt piling up over in the corner. Americans with any objective sense of the function and operation of government should by all rights be totally dismayed by what has transpired since January 2007 and what the future looks like if control over that direction and philosophy are noted reined in and controlled. If that approach continues, ObamaCare will only be one item on a long list of things that we cannot afford as a nation but will have been thrust upon us as taxpayers in the vein of a “tax” but always called something else semantically in order to move on.


Those who hold citizenship yet pay nothing in taxes have the same voting powers as the ones who bear the burden. Thus it is easy to get into the free cheese line and complain about those who want to get rid of the free cheese. In reality, there is no “free cheese” and sooner or later that point comes to bear in weighing in on the financial collapse of a nation. Many corporations have failed under the weight of the ever-growing benefits they keep handing to the unions year after year. The labor force is so entrenched into the company infrastructure that no matter how it turns, the corporation is facing bankruptcy with or with its workforce. At some point, that leverage to gain more quits being negotiations and becomes extortion. But the inevitable is always there. The federal government may have stepped in and stopped the financial collapse of General Motors keeping thousands of jobs in place but it did nothing in terms of it being a company that has a more solid foundation financially and the ability to sustain hard times. As always, GM sits waiting for the next great arm twist by the union that will claim that, through concessions, it saved the company from failure and therefore deserves a large share of the fruits it bears. The process never ends.


One thing is absolutely clear coming off of the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act and it is heavily emphasized by the majority opinion ruling of the Court. The Supreme Court, under the leadership of Roberts, has no intention to protect the Constitution or the citizens of this nation from the federal government. Roberts pretty well summed that up when he indicated that it was not the Court’s business to protect the people from those actions of their elected officials. I beg to differ and differ greatly with that opinion. Roberts and every other justice on that court took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution from all comers both foreign and domestic. If that means overruling a bad law created by a Congress through sheer trickery, then so be it. Roberts is too worried about the political image of the Court and where his next speaking engagement will be…probably some liberal law school, no doubt. For the moment, Roberts is taking candy from strangers which is something mama always said that one should not do. He is the darling of the liberal left for the moment but he has no idea what a long road he has put himself and the Court upon. Much like the extortion of the unions, the liberal left will come to his door time and again looking for that favorable attitude on yet another bad law designed to damage the Constitution and take away the rights under it for all Americans. If he keeps making those hand-outs, he will be no better than those who have designed such legislation and laws with the purpose of creating a larger federal government with unobstructed power over the American people. By the time many citizens of this country figure that out and realize there are no free lunches or free government cheese, our Constitution, our freedoms, and our country will have rode through the front gates of Hell on the back of a politically-minded bench in the Supreme Court of the United States.


The Constitution was designed as a shield against big government tyranny by those who wrote it and nurtured it into existence. They realized that it was a precious document capable of providing centerline guidance and a rule of law orientation for time on end. But they also knew that it was a delicate document and required the guardianship of those who treasured it, the people of this nation. Over time, the warped mind of political hacks, those of the socialist, communist, Marxist, and other utopian ideologies have chipped away at it indirectly by invading almost every process within our free nation including the education of our young…the next generation which must stand guard. Finally, they are making headway and too many in our nation do not see the dangers of that progress. Apparently, Chief Justice John Roberts is among them.


ObamaCare, regardless of where it ends up, will go down in history as a key battle over the Constitution, States Rights, and the freedom of choice for the American people. The majority decision rendered by Justice Roberts and four others on the court will be referenced again and again down through history as the basis of reasoning for some new propositions which takes yet a bit more freedom and choice away from Americans…all done in the name of “doing what is right” for America. One very poorly made ruling by the Supreme Court will become the springboard upon which all other attacks are launched.


For this reason, it is essential that the American public and members of Congress demand another vote on this legislation with the ruling of the Court in mind…it is a tax. Without that vote, the true American taxpayers will bear the financial burden of a tax imposed without representation, an act of tyranny on the part of our government. This cannot stand. WB



©Copyright WBrown2012. All Rights Reserved


3 July 2012


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Comments 24 comments

Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

Wayne -- "an act of tyranny" says it all for me and that's exactly how I, too, view it. Thank you for a brilliantly written and executed statement on the entire matter of Obamacare. The American public must not let this convoluted mess stand. Best/Sis


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Angela Blair...Thank you for the read and the great comment, Sis. It is time for the right side of the aisle to stand on principle...past time. If we are going to lose, let's go down fighting not hiding behind our chairs. Apparently the oath of office means little to those in Washington...just a formality. WB


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I have not fully digested the ruling yet. It is obvious that the administration, though, has tried to push this bill through fully aware that it was against the will of the people, since only democrates voted for it. Hardly the will of the people. It was an exercise in power and really has not much to do with health. some of us are even having portions of our health care taken away.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 years ago from Rural Arizona

Wayne - Very well done my friend. This is the best breakdown of the total mystery called Obamacare I have ever read.

Can you imagine going to a car dealership, looking over the new models, and asking how much for that red one. He says, "I don't know, we haven't figured out the price yet." He then adds, "But you can make monthly payments." You ask, "How much are the monthly payments?" He says, "I don't know because on top of your payment you have to pay part of the monthly payment for those who can't afford to buy a car."

And that is pretty much the deal we just had forced on us.


Chris Dane profile image

Chris Dane 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

Dear WB, I always appreciate the thought you put into your hubs. A couple of contentions, though: In your third paragraph, you argue that costs are being passed on to the taxpayer. But this is already happening under the old system and we're seeing our cost of care and premiums already skyrocket. The bill isn't about getting care to people who aren't receiving it, it's about getting everyone to chip in for free loaders already making one set pay while they don't. By bringing it out into the open and alleviating, the AFA brings down the negative impact to all of us. It makes enough freeloaders pay while helping those who really need it to balance the system. Before, people could gamble without losing, since no one can be denied care. They still can't, but they have buy in at the gambling table instead of just ghosting.

As for the tax issue, SCOTUS said that the Dems did think it was a mandate, and didn't believe it was tax. The decision to pursue the mandate over a tax was political, but there's no deception there. It wasn't a lie. It was SCOTUS that has made it a tax, to save the law. But even then, they're not calling a tax, but a penalty legal under the tax code. The Romney campaign has come out in agreement with this argument, by the way. Hmmm...

As for your cry of tyranny, how is it tyranny if it can be repealed after successive elections? Will you all just calm down and stop whining? Where is your patience with democracy? It's like things don't go your way for two seconds and suddenly it's all tyranny. Get over it. This is a democracy and elections have consequences. It doesn't mean all is lost, just vote, for god sakes. If this is tyranny, then we're all the most spoiled reprobates in history. America is a great country. It still is and our democratic process is still strong. Losing a step or two in a legislative battle is not the equivalent of King George and I'm honestly sick of people equating it as such. I know you're just being passionate, WB, but please avoid such extremist rhetoric. It undermines your better arguments.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

I can't a thing to this piece, It's brilliant and it's the right thing to do. Up all the way.


maxoxam41 profile image

maxoxam41 4 years ago from USA

American referendum is an oxymoron


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

Wayne, first of all, I want to say just how well this was written. Just as all of your many, wonderful “American” editorial pieces are.

I read this one over and over, as I am trying so hard to realize, that it really is as simple as you put it. It is nothing more than “tax imposed without representation, an act of tyranny on the part of our government.”

It is also very true, that I am “totally dismayed by what has transpired since January 2007”.

They have been diligent, in pecking away at attacking our Constitution, in the name of “doing what is best for all Americans”. That, they are somehow are more intellect than the average American. That, the know what is best, so breaking, bending and ignoring, that sacred piece of paper is justifiable, in the minds of Obama and his cronies.

Wayne, I think I may have told you this before, If not, then I am saying it now, but you need to be a speech writer. Romney could use one like you right now. This would make a wonderful speech.

This may sound corny, but I admit, I am corny, and an avid admirer of Ronald Reagan, and I read this with his voice in my mind, and it was as if he himself had blessed this as one he would be proud of.

Again, well said, and I defy anyone to dispute anything you stated in this very poignant message you gave us.

Chris


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@dahoglund...Good to see you about, Don. I appreciate your insight...you always take an objective look at things regardless of which way it goes...that's why you have character! Thanks much. WB

@Old Poolman...Great analogy, Mike and right on point...buy it first and then we'll let you know what it costs...sounds like something Pelosi would recommend. Thanks much! WB

@Chris Dane...Thanks for the input, Chris...your comments are always welcome. With regard to the costs, the way I see it, if there are 30 million people without healthcare insurance out there at the present then how many of them cannot afford it versus do not elect to take it...I believe the first group is much larger thus the vast majority of those coming on board will be at little or not costs. The rest, though forced, will not enough to the overall revenue to keep those who pay the full boat from paying a fuller boat. The government will have two choices...incorporate the costs into the premiums of those who pay or pay it out of the pockets of the taxpayers. I see nothing here which offers "affordable" health insurance if so many cannot afford to pay. Secondly, I think this process could have been achieved without the government being knee-deep in directing it. The regulatory process still works and could be applied to what is already in the open market offerings. Lastly, at the present point, I see no path that is defined to stop the progress on this bill which, by ruling of the court, will go forward on the madate of a tax. If those implementing it cannot live with that and the effect on the population, then those participating are going to have to bear the cost of those who are not participating. 17 States already say that they are out. The word "affordable" becomes less and less defined as each one drops out. The Court has ruled that the States cannot be penalized thus the hammer is off for the time being. I am also bothered heavily by a Congressional leadership which would pull the legislation through knowing full well that the Commerce Clause would likely not stand up. Now, those same leaders want to shrug their shoulders and say, "Let's move on"....too many premises have been violated here in our system of checks and balances to just move on. The American people deserve a fair shake on this thing if it is to be implement and that calls for a vote on the understanding that the required charges, the requirement to purchase, and the indirect costs arising for the inability to pay are all "taxes" to be levied against the American people...same as FICA and Social Security. If the legislation can win the day on that premise, then fine, let it go forward and we'll see what we have. I don't question Congress' power to levy tax but I do question the method in which they have so accidently gone about it. If we ignore that, then we do throw open the gates to tyranny in our government as more and more things begin to be dictated as a function of something else. Keep your eyes peeled, you will a similar approach after the election to gun control and an all out attempt on the part of the President to circumvent the Congress on treaty approval if Obama wins another term. Things are happening as we speak. Thanks much. WB

@breakfastpop...Hey, any comment sounds good to me. It lets me know that you are listening and watching. Thanks Poppy. Wb

@maxoxam41...It just might be....LOL! WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@CMerritt...Thank you for those great words of praise, Chris. This piece is a product of my passion for what is happening to us...the throwing aside of our system in the name of "we've got a better idea" but it cannot be done using these old tired methods. They want us to believe they have a new direction but never once do they tell where we are going and what the destination will be like. As for the speech, I would gladly hand it to Romney today but he would not make that speech and therein lies the problem. There are still far too many in the Republican Party who do not believe that one can get elected standing on conservative principles though Reagan did it very nicely. People respond to those with passion and Reagan had that passion for what he said and he said what he believed as opposed to guessing what the right answer might be. I will stand with a man like that any day. Romney does not have that fiber in his character as believes that one can straddle the line rather than choose a side to stand on...something he might share with Justice Roberts. Too few are offended by what has gone on with regard to this legislation and its aftermath. Too few care for history and the bearing that it has on the future and far too many have placed the dark heart of the communist, socialist, and Marxist up on the shelf right beside political correctness. They do not have a clue that these ideals and philosophies are right here with us and chipping away at our foundation of freedom and liberty. It is difficult to teach a free man the value of freedom until you take it away from him...then he knows though it is too late. WB


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

Here's the way he sold one of the lies about the cost...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U68UKtf8lAU


Bob Zermop profile image

Bob Zermop 4 years ago from California, USA

I was with you until your criticism of Roberts and the SCOTUS. I believe they did their job; they told us what was and wasn't constitutional. Hell, Roberts even slipped in more than once the whole "not for us to judge, fire your elected officials" thing more than once. The Court is not meant to take political policy decisions besides deciding whether it's constitutional.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

Hey Bob. So you saying that Roberts didn't just politicize the process that we all witnessed? Really?


Bob Zermop profile image

Bob Zermop 4 years ago from California, USA

I don't mean to say that the Court decisions don't have political consequences, but I don't believe he dragged the ruling off base TO politicize. The Supreme Court's duty is to rule whether bills and laws are constitutional, as in following "the letter and spirit of the Constitution". If that means ruffling a few feathers, or ruffling everyone's feathers, so be it.

The curbing of the Commerce Clause is a great win for the conservative cause, though it may not be so obvious in the beginning. I wrote a hub summarizing the ruling and the reasoning. If you're interested, here's the link: http://hubpages.com/politics/Why-the-ACA-or-Obamac... .


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

Bob - What Roberts did was politicize the law. I understand what he did, how he did it and probably why he did it. It was too convoluted a ruling and he was called out about it if you also bothered to read the dissenting opinion.

He rewrote the law in essence which isn't the job of the SCOTUS. Lets try just sticking to the facts. Yes, it was indeed a tax even though the administration wants to now deny it was a tax. According to the party of free riders Roberts got it wrong.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@The Frog Prince...Thanks for that link Jim! WB

@Bob Zermop...The Court's first duty is to protect the Constitution. This law as crafted in such a way as to assume that creating financial support for it could be mandated under the Commerce Clause. The Court found that mandate as it relates to the Commerce Clause as not supported by the Constitution. That is fine. But, they let the law stand by making the assumption that the "intent of the Congress" was to tax for that is the only power they have to mandate or require citizens to comply. Every aspect of the program was formulated on that mandate...debt neutrality, majority participation, etc. Now the court has killed that avenue and called the attempt a tax while allowing the law to go forward. In effect, because the Court sees the mandate as a "tax", the people have been taxed without due process of representation. Never mind the law being passed, that vote was not taken on the assumption of a tax..in fact, the measure would have failed to secure enough votes had that been the case. Now, by allowing the law to proceed, this thing is in bureaucratic limbo as to how it will be funded and who will participate. In the end, that may be good especially if the a significant portion of the states fail to implement it. I would have much rather seen the law ruled unconstitutional due to the mandate which is the primary funding mechanism. That would have forced the legislation back to the drawing board and also forced the entire Congress to vote on it as a tax...there is the problem and that stems directly from the approach taken by the Court. Thanks much for your comment. WB


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

can we take this ruling to the supre......never mind.

we are screwed!


Chris Dane profile image

Chris Dane 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

WB, if I may, I think that saying "whoops, you got a few things wrong in a massive piece of legislation! Now we, the Supreme Court poobahs, are going to strike down your entire legislation!" is the antithesis of what the Supreme Court is generally supposed to do. Such rulings are rare and require there to be a mechanism present that the entire law hinges on that violates the constitution. Otherwise, they either strike down isolated parts or give advice of the court to tweak this or that, as is often the case.

A lot of conservatives hoped that this was one of those rare cases, but the court found that while Congress doesn't have the power under the commerce clause, it does under the taxing power. Why force a re-do of the entire bill if it's just a clarification of authority sourcing?

And your argument that it's now suddenly a tax and that it would never have passed congress that way is erroneous at best. It's a penalty that Congress can manifest through the tax code, not a tax itself. The majority ruling of the Supreme Court vindicates not just this explanation but also Democrat's insistence all along that it was a mandate, not a tax (explicit in the decision's majority opinion). Even Scalia and Thomas said it wasn't a tax, BTW. Mitt Romney's campaign as also reiterated that it is a penalty, not a tax.

It still operates the way it was intended to as a mandate, which is the intent of the bill, which was voted on by the duly elected 111th congress representing the American people. If you need to be reminded that we all win and lose some policy arguments as a democracy, just remember this the next time a TSA guard "touches your junk" and smile, and say, "God bless America".


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Chris Dane...I am not advocating that the entire piece of legislation be reinvented...I simply want it on record that those who support it (post-SCOTUS) understand the implications of that support. Considering that the legislation is mainly a democrate majority piece, I think the vote tally might get really close in terms of getting it through both chambers, especially in light of the method by which their support was garnered in the first go-round. As for the tax angle, whether it is absorbed in the codes or directly evident doesn't really matter as long as the public sees it as a tax. The majority opinion held that the mandate as a function of the Commerce Clause was not within the powers of Congress but that a "mandate" on the basis of taxation was within the scope of their powers...I think that states it pretty clearly. The Court seemed comfortable determining on its own that if the Congress intended to "mandate" then they must have intended to tax for that is where their powers of mandate lie. It may have been voted on but not in the sense that it is a mandate issued under Congress powers to levy tax....I do not see that as clearly ever being the case on the past vote. I have no problem winning a few and losing a few when folks stay inside the lines...what I see going on in Washington at the present has little to do with executive or legislative compliance. The message is pretty clear, 'we'll do what we damn well please and you folks will like it. I, for one, would like to see that direction changed. Thanks much. WB


Chris Dane profile image

Chris Dane 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

WB, can I just say, I like that you respond to everyone with thoughtful and thorough consideration. You're becoming one of my favorite sparring pardners. From one Texan to another, I appreciate it!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Chris Dane....For those of us hear willing to hear each other's opinion, there is no other option. In my mind we are all still Americans firstand foremost. I sincerely believe that those of us who engage in some level of debate do so because we have a passion for what we think. The fact that we disagree does not make either one of us any less an American but it does relegate us an ever-diminishing breed who can air our differences and still demonstrate respect for each other. You and I might disagree but I do appreciate your opinion; I take to heart and I weigh it into my own mental arguments.. no one wants to appear to be a fool. Our exchange of perspectives hopefully reinforces both of us to some extent. For all we might have to say, the power to listen and understand the perspective of others has value..that is the way we truly find solutions without draping our dominance over others. I always welcome your perspective, Chris, and I sense your passion and desire to do best thing. Thanks much for the good words. WB


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

You wrote, Wayne, about Obamacare being nothing but smoke and mirrors. So right. In fact, every word and action of our (?) leader is based on smoke and mirrors. Sad that his so-called leadership skills are not matched by his skill in prestidigitation.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 4 years ago from Wisconsin

I think the state we are in right now as a country is sad. The ruling by the court is actually a bit surprising to me considering what wording we know (who the hell would take the time to read this whole thing?) which clearly puts every citizen in a position to have an ultimatum, neither of which is very appealing. Buy insurance or else. The biggest question I've had is WHY would opening up interstate commerce NOT have been the better choice to reduce healthcare insurance costs? I think, of anything, that choice would have done more to open the system up and make competition be the driver of decreased costs. It frankly wasn't even on the table for consideration—the dems didn't even want to look at that possibility.

I started by saying that I think the state our country is in is sad. It's not just about Obamacare, but about the increasing dependence people have on the government to support their lives. When we could be looking at ways to improve the economy, increase US production of goods, and make people more self-reliant, we are focusing on more and more government intrusion and offerings to anyone who is not willing to take the time, nor have the inclination to take care of themselves.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@drbj...Ever so true, Doc. Until the media and the public start calling him on his misleading statements and claims, he will continue to shape history any way he wants. He's one of Chicago's finest....Thanks much! WB

@Springboard...I could not agree with you more in your assessment. This is not a country where a mandate should be necessary unless one is trying to protect a fool from himself which is impossible to do and still keep the fool alive. We have become a nation of people who put more stock in getting free government cheese that we do in accomplishing anything of substance. Shameful. Thanks much! WB

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