One More Take on The Beginning Effects of Obamacare

11-fine_taxes_and_obamacareThey must believe I was born yesterday

They must believe I’ve got sand for my brains

Tony Banks – “Red Day on Blue Street”

In his attempt to sell his so-called health care overhaul to a majority of American voters, Barack Obama uttered the same words in more than two dozen speeches, campaign and television appearances: “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”  Several times to the guarantee he added at the end the unequivocal, emphatic “Period.”  As millions have come to discover since October 1st, full implementation of Obamacare has resulted in their losing those very plans they were guaranteed to keep, some because of minor changes which rendered the grandfather clause null and void, others because the policy, the contract voluntarily entered into and agreed upon did not include all the various items of coverage which the legislation mandated.

As the cancellation letters began to be received, the stunned shock demonstrated by those on the left who seemed to be totally unprepared for such eventuation, Obama saw his approval numbers plummet. There has been a scramble, by Obama, by the left in the punditry, by Democrats on the Hill who all voted for the specific wording of the legislation to now attempt to change that language, to tell us that the error was ours, we just didn’t hear it correctly.  While that short, succinct, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Period.”  was what we heard (or read in transcript), now Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Mary Landrieu, on and on, are all changing their tune to some version of “We always said if you like your plan you could keep your plan if it meets the minimum coverage.” The gulf between the word “can” and the word “could” is as wide as wide can be … and studious internet searches fail to uncover any of these Democrats using the caveat in their sales pitches.  The old cliché, “That dog won’t hunt” fits here at this point. As more and more people are receiving these letters, realizing they have been lied to by Obama, Pelosi, and every Democrat who promised they would be able to keep the insurance policy they chose, like, the doctor they chose, like, as with Obama’s poll numbers, the Democrat chance of regaining a majority in the House sinks low as well.

There are any number of blog pages about Obama and the lies regarding the law, frankly it is insulting to read/listen to all the linguistic gymnastics being performed to characterize it as anything but lying. Instead I choose another aspect of Obamacare; not being a lawyer, law student of any kind, what I write today is not predicated on anything more than an understanding of the Constitution and the protections it affords us citizens.  One of the main rebuttals to those who have voiced objection to the law is loudly shouted: “The Supreme Court said it is Constitutional!” While indeed the challenge to the law that made its way to the Court did receive a majority opinion to keep it from being struck down, I have qualms over that decision.  Chief Justice Roberts wrote that because Congress has the power to tax, no matter the Administration argued the penalty for not purchasing the insurance was not a tax, the Court majority opinion decided it actually is, therefore passes Constitutional muster.  Hm.  My problem with this particular decision is that while true, the Constitution does give Congress the power to tax under Article I, Section 8, the specific enumerated power reads thus:

     1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

The fine levied by Obamacare is not uniform throughout the United States, it is not even uniform among the citizenry. It is going to be assessed individually, only on those who do not purchase the mandated insurance with various levels of fine amount.  Even attempting to squeeze the line, how did calling the fine a tax manage to pass this particular aspect of Constitutional muster?

Another Constitutional question I have, this pertains to what is commonly called the Takings Clause of Amendment V:

Nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The insurance polices, the voluntary contracts entered into by consent are the property of the insured, yet they are being canceled solely due to the fact they do not conform to the requirements of this law. Perhaps a stretch to say they are being “taken for public use” but they are being taken from the citizen without just compensation.  All those who have had their property taken from them are being required to pay the government for the insurance instead, and not an even dollar-for-dollar substitution, but double, triple, or more the cost they paid for that property in the first place.  As I say, I am not a lawyer of any kind, but common sense tells me this violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the Amendment V protection to the citizen. If a future Congress writes legislation that a president signs into law and the Supreme Court upholds it, no matter what twists or turns in logic they make to do so, what keeps the Federal government from deciding your private property in the guise of your car does not meet the standards they determine, the citizen has his vehicle removed from his possession and by mandate must purchase one he does not want? What about the home, let’s say Congress thinks your two-bedroom, one-bathroom house does not meet the minimum requirements they decide, you and your family are evicted from your private property and then required to pay much more, possibly more than you can afford, for a government house?

The law works on precedent, once something is set a later challenge will refer back to it.  This is why it is so important that legal rulings, decisions be made with extreme care so as not to allow misuse, abuse of the law by those who come along later.  Who and/or what will protect us citizens from all manner of violations simply because of this one decision that on the face of it seems political rather than judicial?  How do we turn back the clock, how do we get the genie back into the bottle, the toothpaste back into the tube?  The detrimental ramifications of this law are only just being felt; I fear more than just medical insurance is going to be negatively affected for a long time to come.

The ripples have only just begun to move out from the center.

Maureen Mullins

California PolitiChick Maureen Mullins was born in March 1963 and if ever asked the proverbial 'Where were you when JFK was shot? she may confidently reply, 'In my playpen.' Her first true recollection of politics was when the usual after school re-runs of Gilligan's Island and Hogan's Heroes were being pre-empted by the Watergate hearings. This carried through to her discovery of CSPAN, when in doing research for an essay on Abscam for her high school government class, she heard Newt Gingrich giving Special Orders speeches on the subject from the well of the House of Representatives. Her first foray into political activity was to volunteer for the Reagan For President campaign in 1980, as she was only 17 that November and would not be able to cast a vote for him until 1984. She has subsequently done volunteer work on various House and presidential campaigns throughout the years. A dedicated Constitutionalist, one of Maureen's greatest honors was to be a charter member of Hillary Clinton's Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy and continues to this day to help the people of this country recognize and remember the value of true liberty.

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