Posts Tagged ‘individual mandate’
November 12th, 2014 at 6:20 pm
ObamaCare’s 2015 Tax Bite

Too bad the incoming Republican majority in Congress probably can’t repeal ObamaCare’s individual mandate before next April, because it looks like millions of middle-income Americans will see their tax refund cut by one-third.

“The financial penalty for skipping out on health insurance coverage [i.e. not complying with the individual mandate] will more than triple to $325 per person in 2015, or 2 percent of income, depending on whichever is higher,” reports CBS News. “Children will be fined at half the adult rate, or $162.50 for those under 18 years old.”

“Based on the flat-rate method, the maximum dollar amount an uninsured family could be fined is $975,” says the news outlet.

To put this into perspective, the average annual American tax refund is about $3,000, meaning that a $975 IRS penalty would reduce the value by one-third.

This is likely to hit middle-income Americans particularly hard since many may be earning too much in wages or salary to qualify for an ObamaCare subsidy. The Catch-22 facing these families is cutting back on other spending to pay high monthly premiums, or foregoing insurance and waiting to see how much the IRS will confiscate. Either way, the predicament facing millions of middle-income Americans is likely to make them even more hostile toward a law billed as the “Affordable Care Act.”

March 14th, 2014 at 11:49 am
ObamaCare Will be a Major Campaign Issue in 2016

The latest ObamaCare delay guarantees that the law’s arbitrary implementation will be a huge issue in the 2016 presidential campaign.

“The change was included in last week’s announcement that the government would let people keep otherwise out-of-compliance health plans for another two years,” reports Fox News. “Buried in the official memo was a line giving people whose policies were canceled a ‘hardship exemption’ through October 2016.”

That means no who qualifies for this exemption has to pay a fine under the individual mandate until President Barack Obama is leaving office.

Talk about forcing someone else to do make all the hard decisions. Because of the current president’s refusal to shoulder the burdens of implementing his own law it seems like a certainty that the campaign to succeed him will be dominated by questions he can’t bear to answer now.

In short, get used to ObamaCare being a flashpoint in our politics for a long time to come.

December 24th, 2013 at 2:02 pm
Extended Obamacare Deadline Explained

If you’re fretting over whether to interrupt Christmas Eve activities to sign up for an Obamacare insurance plan, fear not.

“Today’s the deadline to sign up for health insurance on if you want that insurance to start by January 1st. But that’s it,” explains Ezra Klein. “If you don’t sign up today and instead sign up on Friday, or next Tuesday, your insurance will kick in a bit after January 1st. There’s no difference in premiums. There’s no difference in plans. There are no penalties.”

I bolded the last sentence to draw attention to an important piece of information often missed in the reporting about the January 1st start date. As Klein says, “The [individual] mandate only kicks in when people have a coverage gap of longer than three consecutive months during the year. That means that buying insurance any time before the end of March [i.e. the end of the open enrollment period on the exchanges] is good enough to avoid the penalty.”

The upshot: Maybe by March the federal government will have fixed all the problems with Obamacare. Maybe. For now, enjoy the Christmas season.

December 20th, 2013 at 12:02 pm
Individual Mandate Starts to Crumble

Late yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that anyone whose individual insurance policy was cancelled due to Obamacare and now has to pay for a more expensive plan is exempt from the individual mandate until 2015.

You read that right. The individual mandate – the keystone of Obamacare’s coverage and funding structure – no longer applies to an estimated 5 million Americans.

This is HUGE. By granting this carve-out, the Obama administration has voluntarily weakened the mechanism that is supposed to guarantee insurance companies selling plans through an Obamacare exchange sufficient numbers of people to fill out their risk pools.

Now, suddenly, these companies are facing the very real possibility that millions of people will choose to hold off buying insurance until they get sick. The new exemption changes a consumer’s calculation. Prior to yesterday, all the emphasis was on signing up by the December 23rd deadline to avoid a 2014 tax penalty.

Now, for up to 5 million people, the decision point to buy insurance occurs when they get sick. Thus, insurance companies won’t get to spread the risk of illness by banking premium payments from healthy people. Many more people buying insurance going forward will need costly care the moment they sign up.

In other words, this move destroys the nature of insurance.

It’s also indefensible as a matter of justice to require the uninsured to comply with the mandate.

“Put more simply, Republicans will immediately begin calling for the uninsured to get this same exemption. What will the Obama administration say in response? Why are people whose plans were cancelled more deserving of help than people who couldn’t afford a plan in the first place?” asks Ezra Klein.

As I said in my column this week, Obamacare’s failures are completely that fault of its supporters. Republicans shouldn’t help fix something that is so broken. 2014 should be the year the GOP unites around a viable alternative to replace this monstrosity after it is repealed.

September 26th, 2013 at 4:52 pm
Senate Dem Backs Individual Mandate Delay

Referring to a yearlong delay in imposing ObamaCare’s individual mandate, Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, told Bloomberg, “There’s no way I could not vote for it. It’s very reasonable and sensible.”

Indeed, it is. Conservative health policy experts James Capretta and Yuval Levin make a persuasive case on the merits for doing so. The core of their argument: It’s just plain fair.

Ever since the Obama administration decided to delay the employer mandate for a year Republicans have argued that the same relief should be extended to individuals and families.

Putting a one-year delay of the individual mandate into each of the next “must-pass” bills would give Republicans in Congress the leverage they need to put Democrats on the record.

Is shutting down the government more important than treating families at least as good as businesses? Is raising the debt ceiling?

If liberals want to bring government to a standstill to defend discrimination, let them.

Chances are, if Republicans pursue this strategy more red state Democrats like Manchin will also come to see the GOP’s delay proposal as “very reasonable and sensible.”

As Manchin points out, “If you know you couldn’t bring the corporate sector, you gave them a year, don’t you think it’d be fair?”

Sounds good to me, Senator. Time to convince a few more members of your caucus.

July 2nd, 2013 at 8:00 pm
The Next Time Liberals Try to Play the Populist Card …
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… remind them of this announcement from earlier today in Politico:

The Obama administration is postponing the federal health care law’s insurance mandate for employers next year, in a major concession to the business community and lawmakers who have become increasingly vocal about the law’s potential to damage a slowly recovering economy.

The announcement doesn’t affect the main coverage tools in the law — the individual mandate and the new subsidized insurance markets. But it could boost the cost of the law if more people end up seeking subsidies instead of getting covered on the job.

Of course, this is great news in one respect. Going a little longer without one of the most economically damaging aspects of Obamacare kicking in is a very good thing.

But note the irony that there’s no delay on applying the individual mandate. If Joe Taxpayer doesn’t comply, the government will be at his door with a bill in no time flat.

Washington’s willing to wait when it comes to sticking it to business. But when the little guy is the one who’s ox is getting gored? No such luck.

September 19th, 2012 at 12:18 pm
Obamacare in One (Very Long) Sentence.
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Dr. Barbara Bellar is running for State Senate in Illinois. That is a real shame for the Romney camp, which certainly could have used her services in the speechwriting department:

June 29th, 2012 at 1:26 pm
Homer Nods… to Quin
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“Homer Nods” is the heading under which James Taranto, one of the commentators whom I most admire, acknowledges an error in a preceding “Best of the Web Today.”

In that spirit, my commentary regarding the ObamaCare decision yesterday included the following paragraph:

It is beyond significant dispute that Obama and the Pelosi-Reid Congress could have passed ObamaCare and its individual mandate as a “tax.”  The text of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution explicitly provides that “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.”  Thus, the federal government can tax and spend on behalf of almost anything it considers to advance the nation’s general welfare, even if its power to more crudely compel or prohibit actual behavior beyond that spending carrot is more limited.”

Below, Quin correctly notes an error in the first sentence.  Namely, his point that “taxing authority has never stretched so far.”

My initial sentence should have omitted the words “and its individual mandate,” and simply read, “It is beyond significant dispute that Obama and the Pelosi-Reid Congress could have passed ObamaCare as a ‘tax.'”  Although some libertarians and conservatives such as Walter Williams claim that Article I, Section 8’s authority to tax and spend for the general welfare are limited by the powers subsequently enumerated in that Section, that argument does not possess textual support.

Nevertheless, Quin is correct that taxing mere existence and inactivity as ObamaCare’s individual mandate does is unprecedented and unjust.  While Obama and the Pelosi-Reid Congress could have simply attempted to raise taxes more generally as a means to fund their monstrosity, yesterday’s decision pioneered new and unfortunate ground in allowing their particular individual mandate mechanism to survive.  I maintain that yesterday’s ruling with regard to the commerce clause limitation, not to mention the “Necessary and Proper Clause” and Medicaid rulings, make it a net win as a Constitutional matter.  Those were critical, groundbreaking limitations on federal power.   Quin’s observation, however, is quite correct.

June 28th, 2012 at 2:02 pm
SCOTUS Does Obama’s, Congress’ Dirty Work

There’s a lot to say about Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion rewriting ObamaCare’s individual mandate as a tax in order to save the law from being ruled unconstitutional.  One of the best – and most succinct – analyses comes from the CATO Institute’s Michael F. Cannon:

The Supreme Court ruled that ObamaCare’s individual mandate is not constitutional under the Commerce Power, which was how Congress framed the mandate to avoid a political backlash from calling it a tax. Congress and the president swore up and down that the mandate was not a tax. Yet the Court upheld the mandate as a valid use of that disavowed taxing power. What Congress said the individual mandate is, the Court said is not constitutional. What Congress said the mandate is not, the Court ruled is constitutional. Everybody got that?

Where does that leave us?

The Supreme Court just enacted a law that Congress never would have passed.

The Court just told Congress it is okay to lie to the people to avoid political accountability.

June 28th, 2012 at 10:35 am
SCOTUS: ObamaCare’s Individual Mandate is Constitutional
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In a disappointing decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld ObamaCare’s individual mandate forcing all Americans to buy health insurance as constitutional.  Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four liberal justices on the Court to rule that the mandate stands under Congress’ taxing authority.

June 27th, 2012 at 2:38 pm
A Few More Thoughts on the SCOTUS Obamacare Ruling
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I’ll join the scrum on this one, though in a much less organized fashion than either Ashton or Quin. Insulated as it is from direct political pressure, the Supreme Court’s actions are always much harder to predict than those of the other two branches, so I’ll offer a few thoughts rather than predictions:

  • The now widely-held belief that Chief Justice Roberts is writing the majority opinion makes me nervous. The positive interpretation is that some or all of Obamacare is going to be struck down and that Roberts — ever-mindful of public perception of the Court’s legitimacy — is writing it to ensure the widest possible acceptance of the ruling. On the other hand, if Justice Kennedy drifted over to the left on this decision, this could be a 6-3 ruling upholding Obamacare, with Roberts switching only so he could write the opinion and blunt the damage done by the majority.
  • If the individual mandate is struck down but found to be severable from the broader law, the health insurance market is going to be thrown into absolute chaos. There’s a reason that insurers themselves were lobbying so hard for the mandate — it’s the only thing that backfills the tremendous costs being imposed on them by the rest of the legislation. The combination of an explosion in costs with likely attempts by HHS to enact price controls will put American health care in a death spiral — itself a good reason to find the provision severable.
  • I’m of the opinion that, as a political calculation, having only the mandate struck down is the worst possible outcome for Republicans. If the entire law is upheld, then the GOP and the Romney camp get to run the fall campaign on the message that only electing a Republican president and Republican majorities capacious enough to achieve repeal will be sufficient to get rid of Obamacare. If the entire thing is struck down, then the work is done. But the mandate is the most unpopular portion of the law and if the Court strikes it down while leaving all of the popular components (read: the benefits — like prohibiting insurance denials based on pre-existing condtions or guaranteeing eligibility to be on your parents’ health insurance until the age of 26), it’s entirely possible — and perhaps likely — that the public opposition will be defanged while many of the most pernicious effects of the law remain.
  • One final thought: Regardless of whether he’s part of the majority opinion or the dissent, I sincerely hope that Justice Thomas uses this historic opportunity to write a separate opinion on Commerce Clause jurisprudence that can be called on by his proteges in years to come.
June 27th, 2012 at 12:52 pm
ObamaCare Prediction: SCOTUS Kills Entire Law

Though we learned with the Arizona illegal immigration decision that tough questioning from justices does not mean a Supreme Court slap-down – indeed, Justice Sotomayor was particularly hard on the feds’ position but ultimately upheld its arguments, as did Justice Kennedy and Chief Justice Roberts – I’m betting (with Quin’s money, of course) that Justice Scalia’s quip about the page length of ObamaCare provides a window into tomorrow’s outcome.

During oral argument Scalia brushed aside the suggestion that should the Court rule the individual mandate unconstitutional it would need to reconstruct the law by piecing together the parts that are still valid.  Scalia’s response was, “You want us to go through 2,700 pages?  Is this not totally unrealistic… to go through one by one and decide each one?”

I think the Court will strike down the individual mandate because it forces Americans to participate in commerce, an unprecedented power grab by the federal government.  (Ironically, had the Obama Administration framed the penalty for not buying insurance as a tax, most constitutional scholars on the right and left agree the mandate would survive.  However, the reason government lawyers haven’t framed it that way is because Obama and the Democrats in Congress repeatedly and explicitly said no one’s taxes would go up if ObamaCare passed, meaning that calling the mandate a tax during litigation would likely make the entire law even less popular with the public.)

Because of all this, I think the Court will do everyone a favor by holding the individual mandate unconstitutional and finding that the rest of the law is not severable from it.  (Which is easy to do since in the rush of ramming the bill around the normal legislative process Congressional Democrats forgot to put in a simple severance clause that would let the rest of the law stand if the mandate falls.)

Thus, everyone gets a blank slate and the Court is not patching together a form of the health reform law that no one voted on or signed.

For what it’s worth, there’s my (or rather Quin’s) two cents.

June 27th, 2012 at 12:01 pm
Supreme Court Guru’s Hunch: ObamaCare’s Individual Mandate Will Stand

Tom Goldstein, who has argued 25 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, bucks conventional wisdom with his latest prediction regarding the High Court’s ObamaCare ruling tomorrow. 

Over at SCOTUSblog, a site he co-founded, Goldstein writes:

[I]n the end, based on the entire mix of information I have, I think the mandate will not be struck down tomorrow.  (Neither I, nor anyone else, has any inside information.)  My prediction includes the possibility that there will not be a single majority opinion for the theory on which the mandate is upheld, and even the thin possibility that the Court will not have a majority to find the mandate constitutional.

As to the other major ObamaCare questions before the Court, Goldstein predicts:

Far less important, I expect the principal opinion will be written by the Chief Justice; a majority of the Court will find it has jurisdiction; and the challenge to the Medicaid expansion will be rejected.

Goldstein does acknowledge that most Supreme Court observers disagree with his prediction and that his own confidence in it “isn’t overwhelming.”  Coming from such a well-respected and brilliant legal mind, Goldstein’s prediction isn’t reassuring either. 

Here’s to hoping that Goldstein is misreading this one.

April 24th, 2012 at 3:57 pm
Today’s WSJ: Rivkin and Casey On How Upholding ObamaCare Would Mean “Judicial Activism”
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Last month, we explained why overturning ObamaCare’s individual mandate would not amount to “judicial activism” as liberals hypocritically contend.  Quoting Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist Number 78, we noted that, “The courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the people and the legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority.”   For the Supreme Court to refrain from overturning the individual mandate due to timidity or political calculation would effectively erase the interstate commerce clause and its limiting principle out of the text of the Constitution, an act of supreme judicial arrogance and activism.

Writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, former Reagan and George H. W. Bush attorneys David Rivkin, Jr. and Lee Casey highlight another manner in which upholding, rather than overturning, ObamaCare’s individual mandate would constitute judicial activism.  Namely, because upholding it would eliminate any limiting commerce clause principle, courts would suddenly possess even greater future power to decide on an arbitrary case-by-case basis which federal laws satisfied their undefined discretion:

There is virtually no economically unrealistic regulation – that forces companies to produce goods nobody wants to buy, or sets artificial prices – that could not be salvaged at least in the short run by an offsetting purchase mandate of some kind…  Although the policy merits of various mandates could honestly be debated, there is simply no neutral, judicially enforceable basis on which courts can determine which prepayment mandates Congress can impose as a means of regulating future transactions and which it cannot.  In fact, if the courts were to scrutinize such mandates, as ObamaCare defenders suggest, striking down those they considered to be too onerous or preposterous (such as a “broccoli mandate”) the judges truly would be engaged in illegitimate judicial activism.”

Thus would Potter Stewart’s infamous “I know it when I see it” become the rule in every instance of potential Congressional overreach, and a tool for unrestricted future judicial activism.

April 10th, 2012 at 3:20 pm
Romney Enjoying 60 Percent Approval Rating … Amongst Romney Advisers
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So ubiquitous is coverage of presidential candidates in this 24-hour news cycle era — and so pervasive is the numbness that results — that it’s easy to lose sight of some truly bizarre developments in this year’s election cycle; developments that have seen their novelty rusted away by saturation coverage.

Among them: the signature achievement in the political career of Mitt Romney, the almost certain Republican nominee for president (especially with Rick Santorum leaving the race today), is so deeply unpalatable to conservatives that it even divides his advisers. Consider this, from Politico:

Two of the five members of [Mitt] Romney’s recently announced Health Care Policy Advisory Group have a record of opposition to his Massachusetts health care reform plan.

Paul Howard, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a new addition to Romney’s advisory team, wrote in late 2010 that Romney’s plan has resulted in a dramatic increase in insurance costs for small businesses.

He also said it’s “no secret” that the state plan was the “template” for President Barack Obama’s federal health care law.

Scott Atlas, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and another new Romney health adviser, was sharply critical of Romney’s health plans in 2007 while Atlas was supporting New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign.

“Mitt Romney’s legacy is the creation of a multibillion dollar government health bureaucracy that punishes employers and insists middle income individuals either purchase health insurance or pay for their own health care,” Atlas told reporters. “The former is a mandate, the latter is a tax and neither one is free market.”

Lest the point be oversold, we should note that past Republican nominees have accessorized their necks with similar albatrosses. John McCain, for instance, was the co-author of a federal campaign finance law loathed by conservatives because it is inimical to political free speech. But there’s still a slight difference: Romney’s policy liability deals with one of the defining issues of the election he’ll be running in — and it also happened to be the intellectual predicate for his opponent’s crowning legislative achievement.

Virtually all the energy that has animated the conservative movement over the last three years — energy best exemplified by the Tea Party — has come in reaction to Obamacare and the government overreach it represents. Now the Republican Party will march into electoral battle behind the progenitor of that intrusion. We live in strange times.

March 30th, 2012 at 3:10 pm
Too Big to Read May Make ObamaCare Fail

Remember in 2009 when conservatives in Congress presented an alternative to ObamaCare that would have guaranteed bipartisan support for some of the outcomes the Obama White House and its liberal allies wanted?  Had the liberals concentrated on targeted reforms instead of a gargantuan“comprehensive solution” not only would the ultimate bill have been much shorter, it would have been much easier to read and comprehend.

That’s a point worth considering since judging by the comments from the Supreme Court this week, passing health reform piecemeal would have been a far better strategy for those wanting to salvage the legislation.

Due to ObamaCare’s massive size, Byron York notes that none of the Justices actually admitted reading the entire law.  “I haven’t read every word of [the law], I promise,” said Justice Stephen Breyer on Wednesday.  Justice Antonin Scalia’s comments to an attorney defending the law were more pointed: “You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?”  “You really expect the court to do that?”

The problem for ObamaCare’s defenders is that the Justices’ refusal to read the entire law means that they are much less likely to rule the individual mandate unconstitutional and keep the rest.  Instead, they’ll just invalidate the whole thing and have Congress start over.

If that happens, the liberal mania for “comprehensive” solutions for everything from illegal immigration to financial transactions and health care will be dealt a much-deserved blow.  You can’t interpret what you can’t define.

If the Court strikes down ObamaCare in its entirety liberals will have only themselves to blame.  Had they listened to conservatives, some of the popular aspects of ObamaCare – guarantees of coverage and subsidies for premiums – would likely be in place with bipartisan support.  Now, they may have nothing to show for what could ultimately end up being a massive waste of time and money.

December 27th, 2011 at 11:51 am
The Full Mandate: Gingrich Not Just for a “Bond”

If anybody actually cares about integrity and freedom, this latest news should be big trouble for Newt Gingrich. Somebody (I need to find out who) dug up this old memo from Gingrich praising Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care plan in fulsome terms, and especially praising its individual mandate to buy health insurance:

The individual mandate requires those who earn enough to afford insurance to purchase coverage, and subsidies will be made available to those individuals who cannot afford insurance on their own. We agree strongly with this principle, but the details are crucial when it comes to the structure of this plan. … In our estimation, Massachusetts residents earning little more than $30,000 a year are in jeopardy of being priced out of the system. In the event that this occurs, Governor Romney will be in grave danger of repeating the mistakes of his predecessor, Mike Dukakis, whose 1988 health plan was hailed as a save-all but eventually collapsed when poorly-devised payment structures created a malaise of unfulfilled promises. We propose that a more realistic approach might be to limit the mandate to those individuals earning upwards of $54,000 per year.

On one hand, this isn’t the most astonishing news: Gingrich has been quoted for 17 years in favor of some sort of individual mandate, and this 2006 citation isn’t even the most recent one. On the other hand, Gingrich has insisted that his proposal was something a little different — some sort of “bond” that rich people would put up — and, also, that he really started moving away from even that “bond” mandate after a while because, really, the reason he was for a mandate was in order to have a conservative alternative to Hillarycare in 1994. At other times he has tried hard to play down or soften the edges of his support for a mandate. But this is unequivocal, and it is within the past six years, and it shows not a single hesitation about undermining individual liberty. Indeed, Gingrich’s only complaint is a class-warfare-inducing lament: Romney stuck the mandate on lower-middle-income earners, whereas Gingrich only would apply it to middle-middle-income earners. Gee, what a relief! (Not!)

Even worse, Gingrich is to the left of Romney on Romney’s own health plan. Romney at worst has only tentatively recommended Romneycare as a whole as a model for the nation; and this year, he has become like a broken record saying he would never impose a mandate via the federal government, and that Romneycare was an example of state-level federalism in action, unique to the circumstances of Massachusetts. Gingrich, on the other hand, wrote this: “The most exciting development of the past few weeks is what has been happening up in Massachusetts. The health bill that Governor Romney signed into law this month has tremendous potential to effect major change in the American health system.” Those lines led directly into his discussion of the mandate, which Gingrich described as an example of requiring “personal responsibility.”

All of which leads back to what I said in my May 17 column here on this site, namely that Gingrich and Romney both flunk conservative political philosophy. I repeat now what I wrote then: “[T]he issue here isn’t utility, but liberty. Mussolini ‘made the trains run on time,’ but that should never have justified his authoritarianism. Essential liberty must never be sacrificed on some central planner’s altar of efficiency.”

Or, for that matter, on some former Speaker’s warped notion of what does and doesn’t qualify as “personal responsibility.”

UPDATE: The discoverer of this memo was BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski.

November 29th, 2011 at 5:09 pm
Gingrich, AGAIN for the Individual Mandate

This video of Gingrich from 2005 shows his true ideological colors, methinks.

August 12th, 2011 at 1:28 pm
11th Circuit Rules ObamaCare “Individual Mandate” Unconstitutional
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The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled, correctly, that the “individual mandate” of ObamaCare is unconstitutional.  That stands to reason.  The Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution to ensure liberty through a federal government of strictly limited powers.  One aspect of that effort was to restrict federal authority to regulating actual “interstate commerce.”  But since ObamaCare’s individual mandate effectively declares that a citizen’s inactivity somehow amounts to “interstate commerce,” upholding ObamaCare would have rendered the Constitution’s interstate commerce clause meaningless.  Accordingly, it follows that if one explicit portion of the Constitution can thus be rendered meaningless, what would be the logical limit restraining government from declaring any other Constitutional clause meaningless at whim?

This is a moment for grateful celebration, even if only temporary.  The broader battle continues, eventually at the Supreme Court level.

July 6th, 2011 at 5:59 pm
Ohio to Vote on Repeal of ObamaCare, Collective Bargaining Ban

This week, the Ohio Liberty Council filed paperwork to place on a statewide ballot this November a state constitutional amendment to opt-out of ObamaCare’s individual mandate.  The Tea Party group delivered over half-a-million signatures, nearly two-hundred thousand more than needed.

On the Left, an assortment of Democratic and labor union groups claimed 1.3 million signatures in favor of repealing Ohio’s stripping of collective bargaining rights from public employee unions, known locally as Senate Bill 5.

While those who want to opt-out of ObamaCare should also support limiting public unions’ ability to bankrupt taxpayers, getting both results will require educating voters to tick ‘Yes’ for the opt-out, and ‘No’ for the repeal.  That may sound easy, but for anyone who’s tried to engineer an outcome with multiple decisions for a group (i.e. logistics for a high school reunion come to mind), it isn’t nearly as easy as it should be.

So far, momentum appears to favor both the ObamaCare opt-out and repealing the collective bargaining ban.  If those sentiments prevail, Ohioans may spare themselves a federal spending mandate while drowning themselves in a tsunami of local and state union benefits.

Suggested slogan: Ohioans Want Freedom, Not Mandates