For weeks the discussions have surrounded whether the courts would merely strike down the individual mandate or the entire law, but today the court essentially upheld the entire law (with one minor exception). And the swing vote was not Justice Kennedy but Chief Justice Roberts; it's as if the entire debate has been turned over on its arse.
Making matters worse, Robert's decision went against how the president himself described elements of the bill. He struck down the mandate...but then he said it was a TAX. That's not what the president said:
Back in Sept 2009, during one of those rare times George Stephanopoulos actually challenged a Democratic Party position, the ABC commentator argued against the president's contention that the individual mandate in Obamacare was not a tax increase.
When the President appeared on This Week on Sept 20, 2009 it was a mandate:
"That may be," Mr. Stephanopoulos responded, "but it's still a tax increase." (In fact, uncompensated care accounts for about only 2.2% of national health spending today, but that's another subject.)
Mr. Obama: "No. That's not true, George. The—for us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it's saying is, is that we're not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore . . ." In other words, like parents talking to their children, this levy—don't call it a tax—is for your own good.
Mr. Stephanopoulos tried again: "But it may be fair, it may be good public policy—"
Mr. Obama: "No, but—but, George, you—you can't just make up that language and decide that that's called a tax increase.. ..."
It gets worse. Even though the Congress purposely left out a severability clause, when one part of the bill was declared unconstitutional (the expansion of Medicaid across the country) he didn't kill the entire bill. He enacted his own severability clause.
So where do we go from here:
- Obamacare was one of the reasons for the creation of the Tea Party movement; the decision will reignite the cause of freedom.
- Mitt Romney must pick up this ball and run with it, he must reiterate his commitment to grant all 50 states exemptions from the law on day one and then work to repeal.
- Not only must Barack Obama be defeated, but a conservative majority (or at least a majority of people who oppose the law) must be elected in both the House and Senate. And for those of you who worry a filibuster proof majority is needed, you are wrong. Remember this legislation was passed via reconciliation needing only a 51-vote majority. It can be removed the same way.
- The court has made its decision; we cannot start using the progressives tactics of personally attacking the Judges. On the other hand we MUST remind voters that in all likelihood the next President will probably get to appoint at least two justices to the court. If Obamacare was struck down it was going to be a campaign issue for the Democrats, that is gone...but it should be a campaign issue for conservatives. Do you really want Barack Obama to appoint two more leftist judges?
- There will be one more constitutional challenge, and one more campaign issue--forcing certain people of faith to pay for insurance that includes coverage that is abhorrent to their beliefs such as contraception, day after pills, sterilization and other "heath" services. The upholding of the law based on the states challenge means lawsuits based on the first amendment. In the campaign this becomes a big wedge issue for a slice of the Catholic vote and other people of faith who may have favored the more liberal Obama.
- And last but not least (for now) the Democrats want to call it a tax increase? Fine let them. Here comes taxageddon! There is no longer any way about it, the Democratic Party is no longer hope and changer and back to its roots of tax and spend. I agree with Jim Geraghty of National Review who says we should no longer call it Obamacare-- he christened it "The Obama Health Care Tax."
For the next
Americans who believe in freedom must double our efforts to explain to our fellow citizens why this law (and the progressives who put it in place) must be overturned in November.