Breaking News: Supreme Court to Take Up Obamacare

The Supreme Court announced just moments ago that they will be hearing arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare during their upcoming session. The issue in question is whether it is constitutional (under the commerce clause) to require Americans to purchase health insurance.

The healthcare law would impose a fine on any American who does not purchase health insurance that meets a minimum, government-approved, standard. This provision is unconstitutional; never before has the federal government demanded that a person purchase a particular item, and nowhere in the Constitution is this allowed. Besides that, the requirement to buy insurance or pay a fine impedes on the States’ authority to regulate their own health insurance. George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley wrote that:

“There is a legitimate concern for many that this mandate constitutes the greatest (and perhaps the most lethal) challenge to states’ rights inU.S.history. With this legislation, Congress has effectively defined an uninsured 18-year-old-man inRichmondas an interstate problem like a polluting factory. It is an assertion of federal power that is inherently at odds with the original vision of the Framers.”

Beyond all the written arguments that this provision is unconstitutional, the precedent it sets is even more dangerous to our freedom and our country. Once the government is allowed to force someone to buy something, where does it end? Some like to make the argument that such a question is ludicrous, but it is a very real threat to our liberty. An administration that focuses on healthy eating can force you to buy a certain amount of organic or healthy foods. An administration that focuses on technology could force you to buy a computer with government-approved specs. Where will it end?

There is little doubt the law is unconstitutional, but many experts are predicting the Court will not strike down the law in its entirety. Instead, they think it is possible the individual mandate is found unconstitutional, but the rest of the law may stand. Heritage Action’s CEO Michael Needham released the following statement regarding full repeal:

“Americans are finally getting what they deserved all along – a serious conversation about the constitutionality of Obamacare’s individual mandate.  We are hopefulAmerica’s system of checks and balances will right this unprecedented wrong and overturn Obamacare in its entirety.  At the same time, however, Heritage Action will continue to push Congress to repeal Obamacare in its entirety because the stakes are too high to put all our eggs in one basket.”

The best case scenario is that the Supreme Court finds the individual mandate unconstitutional and this, the entire law is struck down. This government takeover of the health care industry still adds to our debt, increases costs and still leaves millions uninsured. Anything short of a full repeal means there is work left to be done by conservatives.

Related Links:
Obamacare and the Individual Mandate: Violating Personal Liberty and Federalism
Heritage: Why the Personal Mandate to Buy Health Insurance Is Unprecedented and Unconstitutional
Heritage: Amicus Brief

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