November 22, 2013

LetterL Sneaky

— Not many people know about the sneaky shenanigans that went into the introduction of Obamacare. It started with a campaign promise by Sen. Obama to provide universal health care (insurance) coverage. After Obama’s election to the presidency, U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., et al., began working feverishly to make that a reality. They had a major problem — revenue bills must originate in the House of Representatives. Obamacare had myriad provisions for new taxes so they had to come up with a novel way to get this thing rolling.

The House of Representatives passed a bill called the Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009, or HR 3590 (nothing to do with health care), and sent it to the Senate, which “amended” the name to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. They removed every word of the House bill and replaced it with the omnibus Obamacare bill, which required more shady deals to pass. They sent it back to the House where it passed by seven votes.

This was Obamacare’s illegitimate birth.

Democrats insisted the individual mandate was a penalty, not a tax. That way, if questioned about the Constitution’s “origination clause,” they could say the bill had a House number and contained penalties, not taxes. The Supreme Court blew that notion away by declaring that it is indeed a tax bill.

That news was all the Pacific Legal Foundation needed to reinstate a legal challenge to Obamacare. They entered suit in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., challenging the legality of the law since not a word of it originated in the House of Representatives. The suit is brought on behalf of a decorated Iraq war veteran, Matt Sissel. That suit, Sissel vs. the Department of Health and Human Services, has been languishing in court since December 2012. Win or lose, it will eventually end up in the Supreme Court.

Liberals have long wished for the Constitution to be considered a “living document.” They argue that the founders could never have imagined the kind of world we live in today, so we should ignore the actual words in the Constitution. It appears their dream is to have those nine appointed Supreme Court justices base their rulings not on the Constitution but on what a majority of them wish it said.

If the courts rule against Sissel, we will know we are living in a post-Constitution America.

Ina Fay Manly