The Rubber Meets The Road

On  Monday, 26 March 2012, The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) begins hearing oral arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare.

Long-time readers of my blog (my thanks to you) may recall that way back in September of 2009 (Here) I predicted that any “mandate” that people buy health insurance would guarantee a constitutional challenge that would reach the Supreme Court. I was one of the first to make that prediction.

Time has borne me out on the accuracy of that prediction. Even aside from the legal issues involved, Obamacare has proven to be hugely unpopular with the people. The major GOP presidential candidates have vowed to repeal it should they become President. It was one of the big issues that led to the “shellacking” the Democrats took at the mid-term elections in 2010.

But even though there’s an alternate political route to getting rid of Obamacare – repeal – it’s not an acceptable alternative. Here’s why.

The “mandate” in Obamacare requires people to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. Whether that penalty is called a “fine” or a “tax surcharge” is irrelevant. A penalty is a penalty. By doing so, Obamacare takes the unprecedented step (in this country) of forcing people to enter into a contract to purchase something from a vendor under the guise of “the greater good”. Once that rationale becomes accepted as valid, there’s no limit to the power the government has to regulate and control what people must do or buy moving forward; government’s power becomes unlimited. A rationale of “greater good” can always be found for whatever the latest “crisis du jour” is. Not enough domestic cars sold? You must buy an American car. “Unhealthy” eating habits? You must buy and eat three carrots per week per person. No matter how silly an example you can dream up, it can become a government “mandate”.

Our Constitution defines a federal government of strictly limited powers. Obamacare’s mandate removes all limits on those powers, all under the guise of “the greater good”, of course. That’s why it’s absolutely essential that Obamacare – or at least the mandate – be found unconstitutional. Otherwise, this country’s liberty is completely doomed.

And that’s why the political alternative of repeal isn’t acceptable. If the mandate is somehow held to be constitutional, a repeal is meaningless, because the power to reinstate it remains for the next change of watch; and future laws imposing draconian mandates are just around the corner. The whole idea has to have a judicial stake driven through its heart.

© Brian Baker 2012

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