Tomorrow, July 4th, 2012, we celebrate the 235th anniversary of Independence Day. But on June 28th, 2015, we may well be bemoaning the 2nd anniversary of Dependence Day–unless something drastic changes. Last Thursday, June 28th, the Supreme Court of the United States declared that the Affordable Healthcare Act was constitutional. In case you’re wondering how that august body completed the mental gymnastics necessary to do so–let me enligten you.
First, they determined that the Mandate was not a tax. Because–if it was a tax, it would have no standing under the Commerce Clause for the Supreme Court to hear the case. Taxes are levied by Congress–and are not “laws” in the sense that they can be challenged in the Supreme Court.
Secondly, under the Commerce Clause, they found that it was unconstitutional for the government to require citizens to buy insurance.
However, after determining that it was not a tax so that they could rule on the case, the Supreme Court determined that the fines to be collected by the IRS for not following the law were a tax and therefore could not be challenged under the Commerce Clause.
Huh??? Am I missing something here?
So, I guess that means the government cannot require you to buy insurance–or baby shoes–or a certain brand of dog-food; but if they use the IRS to fine you for not buying whatever good or product they want you to buy and call it a tax, then that’s okay.
Whatever happened to logic…not to mention the Constitution!
This is a dangerous law, folks, a very dangerous law. Built into the 2,700 + pages of the law is that the Dept. of Health and Human Services has the power to make regulations to manage the health care law. These regulations are made by bureaucrats who are not elected–nor are their regulations voted on–but the regulations have the force of law. Just a foretaste of the types of regulations they can foist on us is the recent HHS Mandate that Churches must violate their religious beliefs and consciences by paying for contraceptives and abortifacient drugs–even if it is against their religion to do so. In one fell swoop, the Affordable Healthcare Act has struck down the consitutional rights of the Freedom of Religion and the freedom from government coercion to buy a product or a service. Whether you care about contraception or not–or about abortion or not–it should frighten you to death that the Federal Government should have this kind of power over your rights and your exercise of conscience. If it can declare these kinds of regulations now, what is to stop it from declaring even more drastic regulations later? To make the Affordable Healthcare Act “affordable,” can’t you see that certain citizens in the future might not be deemed “worthy” of healthcare…or of life? In the hands of the government, “managing” healthcare is just another word for “selectively dispensing” healthcare to whom it deems most “worthy.” The generation that ushered in abortion may be the same generation that’s ushered out by euthanasia. Did you notice that the “fines” collected by the thousands of additional IRS agents–to be hired specifically to collect these “fines” for not purchasing health insurance–do not take effect until 2014? That’s after the next election, folks. If it’s such a good law, I wonder why they postponed levying the fines (excuse me–“tax”–according to the Supreme Court) until after the election?
I’m 68 years old–soon to be 69–and still working a full-time-plus job and writing books to supplement my income. I plan on continuing to work and write for as long as I am physically and mentally able to do so–to take care of my family–people I love dearly and care about.
In my 68+ years, I have lived in several foreign countries–including some industrialized, well-educated, modern nations that have socialized medicine. Do you have any idea–any idea at all–of what it’s like to live in a country with socialized medicine? Imagine being sick and getting up and out of the house at five a.m., travelling by car or train across town so you can queue up in a line at the government-run hospital or clinic. When the doors finally open at 8 a.m., you file in to take your place on one of the hard wooden benches in a room that looks like Grand Central Station at rush hour. You may be one of the lucky ones who gets in to see the nurse, or the doctor, or the “technician” before the doors close at 5 p.m. If not, you get to rise earlier still the next day and start the process all over again. And when you finally see the physician, he’s not the specialist you need to treat your particular problem. So you start all over again at another location. All this while you’re ill! This is exactly what my family went through to get healthcare in a country that has socialized medicine.
In some countries, once a person is diagnosed, they’re placed on a waiting list to be treated. In cases that are serious if treated–fatal if untreated–many would die before they would get the care they need. Guess which country they flock to now to get the care they need to survive? You got it! The United States of America. Now I ask you, where in the world will we go?
The Affordable Healthcare Act–if it is a tax–is the largest tax hike in U.S. history. The full impact of it won’t be felt until 2014 and later. Our children and grandchildren will be paying for this monstrosity for their entire lives. And to make matters worse, if the current HHS mandates are also deemed “constitutional” by the same Supreme Court that so ruled on the healthcare law, charitable organizations, hospitals, and schools run by churches will be forced to either violate their consciences or close their doors. That’s a third of the organizations that offer these services now! The Bishops of the Catholic Church have already declared that they will not violate their religious faith. They did not bring this fight to the government; the government forced it upon them. If they are forced by the government to close their hospitals, adoption agencies, schools, and charities, the population they serve would swamp the resources of the government.
Unfortunately, the Affordable Healthcare Act is now the law of the land. The only way it can be overturned is if Congress and the President repeal it. That will not happen under this Administration. Unless the House, the Senate, and the Executive Branch are changed this coming election, by 2015 we will not be celebrating Independence Day on July 4th. Instead we will be mourning Dependence Day on June 28th.
“Those who would trade freedom for security, will have neither freedom nor security.”