When selling Obama Care, the president “absolutely reject[ed]” the claim that the individual mandate is a tax, largely because the individual mandate heavily affects the middle class, and the president promised in the campaign not to raise any taxes on them. Now that the bill has passed, the Obama Administration is arguing that the individual mandate is Constitutional because Congress is empowered to levy taxes by the Constitution, contradicting his earlier position.
The Obama Administration has filed its response to the 20 state lawsuit challenging the Constitutionality of ObamaCare. Among the Justice Department’s arguments is a claim that forcing Americans to buy health insurance or pay a tax is a power granted to Congress just like the power to levy any other tax. This flatly contradicts Obama’s earlier insistence that the individual mandate was not a tax, but merely a responsibility fee. “Put another way, the administration is now arguing in federal court that Obama signed a massive middle-class tax increase, in violation of his campaign pledge.”
Claiming that Virginia has standing to sue by virtue of a law passed by the state’s General Assembly, making it illegal to require citizens of the commonwealth to buy health insurance, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has asked a federal judge to deny the Obama administration’s request to have Virginia’s case challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare be dismissed.
The association for physician-owned hospitals filed suit against the government, claiming that the ObamaCare provision preventing them from expanding is arbitrary and violates their Constitutional rights to due process and equal protection.
Richard Epstein examines Supreme Court precedent in rate-making cases and concludes that, even apart from the question of whether the health-care overhaul is an unconstitutional extension of Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce, it is unconstitutional under the takings and due process clauses of the Fifth Amendment. According to Epstein, the Supreme Court’s “basic constitutional requirement” in this realm is that “any firm in a regulated market must be allowed to recover a risk-adjusted competitive rate of return.” Because the Reid bill (which, in connection with the Reconciliation Act, became law) sharply limits health insurers’ ability to raise premiums or deny applicants, it “emphatically fails this test” — as there is a “near mathematical certainty” that it would drive insurers out of the individual and small-group markets.
The Oklahoma Legislature formally expresses its opposition to Obamacare.
Missouri moves toward a potential August referendum to let voters express their opinions about Obamacare’s individual mandate, which could provide symbolic support for repeal.