Judging Obamacare

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Surely, no one could be silly enough to think that a nation built on free enterprise would ever allow a group of unelected lawyers to start making decisions about their doctors. And surely, no President in his right mind would risk the proverbial smack upside the head which would result from a Supreme Court review of the Constitutionality of a second attempt to dig nationalized healthcare (think Hillarycare, Cuba and/or the Soviet Union) out of its grave. And just as surely, no liberty-loving American would stand for this sort of Presidential nefariousness — would they?

Wrong, wrong and wrong again. As we all know, President Barack Obama has gleefully dragged Hillarycare back into the light of day under the busy moniker “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” A vocal — albeit breathtakingly ignorant — minority has rallied to the cause. And thanks to the extraConstitutional nature of Obama’s undead healthcare albatross, the Supreme Court of the United States has set it up on the block for their next term.

Obama has kept his version of Hillary/Castro/Lenincare on his platform. Although detractors have dubbed it “Obamacare,” the goal is the same: allow unelected lawyers, bureaucrats and other shadowy functionaries control of your medical decisions. And Obama has carried new lumber to the plate: a gross misunderstanding of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution. In pushing the resurrected monster of socialized medicine (including death panels and rationed care), Obama has decided that the Interstate Commerce Clause allows the government to force American citizens to purchase something they might not want.

While that seems at best counter-intuitive (the Constitution generally enumerates citizens’ rights and governments’ responsibilities, not the reverse), and at worse Stalinist, Obama remains undeterred to this day. Federal courts have ruled unConstitutional Obamacare’s key section 1501 b, a/k/a: the Minimum Essential Coverage clause, which reads thusly:

An applicable individual shall for each month beginning after 2013 ensure that the individual, and any dependent of the individual who is an applicable individual, is covered under minimum essential coverage for such month…If an applicable individual fails to meet the requirement of subsection (a) for 1 or more months during any calendar year beginning after 2013…there is hereby imposed a penalty with respect to the individual in the amount determined under subsection (c).”

Translation: the taxpayers must pay for the privilege of not paying for insurance. And there’s the rub. The Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution in no way allows the government to penalize anyone for NOT buying anything. Some liberals have tried to draw a vertex between Obamacare and auto insurance requirements. However, no one is required to drive a car. Obama’s own ambulance-chasers have actually tried to hide his intent with doublespeak; alternatively claiming §1501 b called for a tax or a penalty, depending on which judge they were trying to fool.

Lest you think the Constitutional argument against Obamacare is self-evident, witness a key ally on Obama’s side of the death panel: Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. Kagan, who served as Solicitor General for Obama prior to his naming of her to the high court, has stated her support for Obamacare. In an email exchange with ex-Obama flunky and current Harvard professor Laurence Tribe entitled “Fingers and toes crossed today” Kagan celebrated: “I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing.” Obama is heading into the Supreme Court’s review of Obamacare with a guaranteed vote in his pocket; barring Kagan recusing herself — which should happen, but probably won’t.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas may well form more than a bulwark against Obama and the Democrats’ unConstitutional power grab. Should they drive a Constitutional stake through Obamacare’s heart, Obama’s reelection hopes may die with it. But it should never have gotten this far.

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.