Americans have been hearing about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for years. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled, declaring President Barack Obama’s healthcare law Constitutional, expect to hear much more in coming months.
Thursday morning, almost immediately after the Court handed down its decision, the Internet was abuzz on all fronts with news and commentary about what it means in a political context now and how it will change American healthcare in years to come.
Here is a sampling of some of the Web chatter surrounding the Supreme Court’s ruling:
Several news and commentary sites immediately pointed out that the Court’s precedent describing the individual mandate provision of the healthcare bill as a tax contradicted what the Obama Administration has claimed in the past.
Representative Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) joined in in pondering how the individual mandate turned into a tax, “In selling Obamacare, Congressional Democrats and President Obama assured the American people that it was not a tax. Today, the Supreme Court ruled it was, in fact, a tax. This tax was imposed on the American people amidst an extended recession and is one of the many reasons our economy remains stagnant under President Obama’s leadership.”
Not only has the Court ruled the individual mandate a tax, but it is being called one of the largest tax hikes in American history on the middle class.
Also, statements from American lawmakers, politicians and scholars decrying the decision were released en masse on Thursday.
Representative Justin Amash’s (R-Mich.) office released the following:
The Supreme Court missed an historic opportunity to rein in the federal government. For decades, Congress has stretched the Constitution to authorize whatever new mandate it invents. Instead of acting as an impartial referee, the Court has been complicit in allowing Congress and the President to expand their power at the expense of state governments and the people.
The Court’s decision green lights the continued expansion of the size and scope of the federal government. It also underscores the need to have congressmen who resist the impulse to aggrandize power in Washington. Now more than ever, Congress must commit itself to following the Constitution and limiting the federal government. We can begin to fulfill that commitment by repealing the President’s health care law in its entirety.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) warned through his office:
Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be “constitutional” does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional. While the court may have erroneously come to the conclusion that the law is allowable, it certainly does nothing to make this mandate or government takeover of our health care right.
Obamacare is wrong for Americans. It will destroy our health care system. This now means we fight every hour, every day until November to elect a new President and a new Senate to repeal Obamacare.
Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul said:
Today we should remember that virtually everything government does is a “mandate.” The issue is not whether Congress can compel commerce by forcing you to buy insurance, or simply compel you to pay a tax if you don’t. The issue is that this compulsion implies the use of government force against those who refuse. The fundamental hallmark of a free society should be the rejection of force. In a free society, therefore, individuals could opt out of “Obamacare” without paying a government tribute.
Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney also offered his opinion:
Let’s make clear that we understand what the court did and did not do. What the court did do today is say that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do is to say that Obamacare is good law or that it is good policy. Obamacare was bad policy yesterday. It’s bad policy today. Obamacare was a bad law yesterday. It is bad law today.
Georgetown University Law Professor Randy Barnett chided the Supreme Court in a brief statement:
Today’s decision validates our claim that a Congressional power to compel that all Americans engage in commerce was a constitutional bridge too far. By rewriting the law to make it a “tax,” the Court has now thrown ObamaCare into the political process where the People will decide whether this so-called “tax” will stand. And the People will also decide whether future Supreme Court nominees will pledge to enforce the Constitution’s restrictions on the power of Congress.
Those who support the healthcare initiative joined the President in describing the decision as “a victory for people all over the country.”