Today has been a busy day in Washington DC. Not only was Eric Holder officially held in Contempt of Congress for withholding documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal, but Obama’s signature healthcare legislation, the so-called “Affordable Care Act”, was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision. For the time being, let’s put Holder aside and focus on the big one – Obamacare.
The entire law rested on whether an individual mandate was constitutional. Does the federal government have the power to punish someone for not buying a product or service – in this case health insurance. The argument was made that because Congress has power to regulate interstate commerce, that they also have the power to regulate that people buy health insurance. Fortunately, the Constitution does not give Congress the power to compel an individual to enter into a private contract with an insurance company. Congress can regulate insurance, but if someone doesn’t buy it – they cannot do anything. The individual mandate was struck down.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Instead of deeming the law unconstitutional, the law was upheld by changing a few words and a few definitions. Chief Justice John Roberts claimed that the mandate was in fact not a mandate, but a tax. In this case – Congress still has the power to tax whoever it choses. The problem with this is that it is in fact NOT a tax, nor was it ever presented as such. President Obama even went out of his way on multiple occasions to specifically say – this is not a tax. In the law its a mandate, in the court its a tax. Roberts overstepped his bounds by changing the very law he was judging. The law stands.
A lot of people are still confused about what this all means. In short it means that in 2014 every citizen must buy health insurance or face a penalty fee of roughly $700. You can buy your insurance on your own, from your employer, or you can just pay the penalty and forget about providing insurance for yourself. In the end, businesses across America will drop their health insurance because the penalties are cheaper than the insurance. People will be left to fend for themselves.
There are a number of cost exploders included in the bill – popular items such as 26 year olds being allowed on their parents insurance, and people not being turned down for coverage due to pre-existing conditions. As great as this may sound, these both force up costs of insurance. At the same time, Obamacare prevents insurance companies from raising their rates. If they can’t charge more, and they are forced to cover more people…. they go out of business. This was the plan all along.
With private insurance companies out of business, America’s healthcare system will become “single payer”. There will be one “insurance company” – the federal government. Every citizen will be on the same plan. No competition, utterly inefficient, and guess what is to come. As with every other single payer system in the world – rationing. Certain types of medicine and certain procedures will not be covered. Who decides what is covered and what isn’t? The infamous Death Panel - a small group of bureaucrats who decide which patients are worth keeping alive.
Scary, no doubt. This piece of legislation is the largest tax increase in American history. It severs any sense of State or individual sovereignty. The federal government will continue to grow larger and larger, delivering less of what it is obligated to (defense, secure borders) and more of what it should stay away from (government-run education, banks, energy, and healthcare). The history of government is tyranny. Every country has seen it. Government always grows and it’s end is always the same – it traps its citizens and treats them like subjects.
There is hope, however. Now more than ever, we need Mitt Romney. I hate relying on one person to turn around the fate of our country, but frankly – Mitt Romney needs to win in November. Along with Romney as our president, we’ll need a Republican controlled Senate. History shows us the path we are going down, and it isn’t a good one. I repeat – the history of government is tyranny. To keep a government from becoming tyrannical we need to shrink it and control it, so it doesn’t control us. The hope lies in delivering Wisconsin to Mitt Romney in November, as well as delivering an additional Republican Senator to Washington.