Thursday I was off from work. So I set my alarm and woke up early to watch coverage of the Supreme Court’s decision on ObamaCare, officially known as the Affordable Care Act. I was elated as members of the media announced, “The individual mandate has been struck down, we repeat…”
But then people started talking in their ears, mumbling to each other, exchanging confused looks… “We are now getting word that the individual mandate has actually been upheld…”
I was only one of the millions of Americans who were devastated by the news that the Supreme Court had upheld ObamaCare’s key provision, the individual mandate, in a 5-4 decision.
Shockingly, the pivotal fifth vote was not the moderate Kennedy, but instead it was the supposedly conservative John Roberts. Roberts authored the majority opinion, stating that “The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax.” He also wrote that the Individual Mandate was not constitutional under the Commerce Clause, which is generally how President Obama and Democrats have defended its constitutionality.
Many were appalled that Roberts sided with the liberal judges on the court, as was I. Perhaps Justice Kennedy said it best in the dissenting opinion: “To say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute but to rewrite it. Judicial tax-writing is particularly troubling… Until today, no federal court has accepted the implausible argument that §5000A is an exercise of the tax power.”
However, I believe Roberts, along with the liberal justices on the court, ironically enough, gave Mitt Romney the firepower to completely destroy President Obama on November 6. Time after time, Democrat legislators as well as Obama himself insisted, emphatically, that ObamaCare is not a tax (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_-qh9XDbgE).
Obama is on the record, dozens of times on the campaign trail, vowing to not raise taxes on the middle class or those families making under $250,000 a year. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wzs3aoRnl0E&feature=youtu.be).
Guess what? The Supreme Court has ruled that ObamaCare is only constitutional if read as a tax. That means that Democrats and the Obama campaign will have to defend the law to the people as a tax, contributing to the narrative that Obama is not just another tax-and-spend Democrat, but that he is the worst offender of extending overreaching government control in the history of the United States. According to the Supreme Court’s decision, President Obama is now the biggest taxer and spender in the history of the world.
Even before today’s ruling we knew that ObamaCare would raise taxes 21 different ways ((http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/28/republicans-ruling-focuses-election-obamas-health-/). Now, it’s official: the individual mandate is essentially a tax.
In 2009, when Obama and his Democrat Congress were ramming through the original 2500+ page legislation, it stirred an uprising that America has not seen in decades. Voters lashed out at their representatives in town halls, and the Tea Party was formed, sparking hundreds of gatherings and millions of protestors who favored limited government. Their message: NO new taxes. NO more spending. NO ObamaCare.
ObamaCare barely passed the House of Representatives, 219-212, with 34 Democrats voting against it. In November of 2010, voters came out in droves to send dozens of Democrats back home, giving Republicans an overwhelming majority in the House. The people did not want ObamaCare then, and they do not want it now. Recent polling indicates that about 60% of likely voters want a full repeal of ObamaCare.
I believe the Tea Party is coming back. Only this this time, they’re not just coming for Democrats in the House and Senate. They’re coming for the White House. Mitt Romney has pledged on hundreds of occasions to repeal ObamaCare: ”On day one, I will issue an executive order to grant waivers to the 50 states. Then I will call on Congress to repeal ObamaCare.”
In his written opinion, Justice Roberts wrote that “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness,” indicating that just because they ruled it constitutional does not mean they deem it good law.
He goes on to say that “Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices” (emphasis added).
He’s right. It’s up to the people to decide if they want a $500 billion tax increase and an unrestrained federal government. It’s up to the people to decide if they want taxes raised 21 times. It’s up to the people to decide if they want government to continue to tax and spend and gain power without consequence.
On Thursday June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court voted. On Tuesday November 6, 2012, the people will vote.