June 28th, 2012

Obamacare Upheld as Constitutional: What Now?

In a flurry of breaking news, conflicting reports initially emerged regarding whether the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was upheld in this morning’s opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court. CNN and other outlets jumped the gun in claiming that the health care mandate was declared unconstitutional, but the truth soon emerged: in a 5-4 decision, the black-robed lawyers claimed that it did in fact pass constitutional muster.

Come again?

Arguing that Obamacare could simply be considered a series of taxes, Chief Justice Roberts (long a hero of the conservative right) sided with the “liberal” wing of the Court to uphold the entire law. (Thus we see the fatal flaw of placing so much trust and support in a single person, as many conservatives have long done with people like Roberts.)

The hours and days ahead will produce no shortage of hot air, politicking, and media-fueled grandstanding by those who object to the Court’s ruling. The question that the objectors must address is: what now?

As I previously wrote, the Court’s ruling in favor of Obamacare now provides states the opportunity to rediscover and reaffirm their powers. Here’s what I said in March:

If the court upholds the constitutionality of the individual mandate in June, conservatives and libertarians will loudly and justifiably protest the result. This anger, however, will lead many of them to explore alternatives in pursuit of upholding the Constitution and fighting the federal government. In that endeavor, they might soon learn that there are other effective ways to challenge the federal government’s encroachment upon the powers of the people.

The path ahead lies in nullification. States must band together to give the federal government the political equivalent of the middle finger. Resistance must be organized, popularized, and stubbornly implemented as the last, best means of checking the federal government—an institution which historically has not restrained its own powers, as today’s ruling so obviously and alarmingly demonstrates.

Thomas Jefferson once stated that the federal government’s agents should be bound down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution. He was right, but too many have come to believe that a few judges, as part of that same government, are the most appropriate and effective means of binding legislators and bureaucurats within that same government.

This is horribly misguided: questions of constitutionality should ultimately be decided by the many, not the few.

Nullification affords that opportunity.

Curious to know more? Brush up on the basics. Buy the book. Support the Tenth Amendment Center which has had success in recent years promoting nullification bills around the country. Organize. Mobilize. Resist.

16 Responses to “Obamacare Upheld as Constitutional: What Now?”

  1. lum
    June 28, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    You conservatives didn’t lose everything in the ruling, States can op out of the Medicaid expansion without risking the lose of existing Medicaid funds or imposition of new rules in the expansion. And they in fact ruled against the commerce clause interpretation which could possibly be seen as narrowing the scope of the commerce clause.

    Mind you the Medicaid ruling could be a poison pill for republicans in swing States in the coming election.

    I am generally happy with the ruling, wish the law went further the inclusion of a public option via medicare could have saved a ton of money($146 billion 10year), but one fight at a time I suppose!

  2. Tommy Knowlton
    June 28, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    I had to LOL when I read this KSL.com article (http://www.ksl.com/?sid=21030907&nid=148), where it says

    Roughly 386,000 Utahns are uninsured, making up almost 14 percent of the state. They are among those who will be most affected by the individual mandate of the ACA now that its constitutionality is no longer in question.

    As if a ruling by the Supreme Court removes the question of constitutionality. It only removes the question of what the federal government is going to expect the states and taxpayers to do. That question is altogether different from whether the powers invoked are delegated or usurped (which is the essence of the “constitutionality” question).

    They obviously didn’t read your previous blog, Connor 🙂

  3. Jon
    June 28, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    I just wish we could get rid of the individual mandates in the individual states too. What do they call that individual mandate? Oh yeah, licensing. That would solve a lot of problems. I’ll e-mail my state “representatives” today, hopefully they will fight against the federal mandates, it would be nice if they fought against the state mandates too.

    BTW, here was a good interview with Dr. Mary Ruwart imploring us to stop this Obamacare. Oh, if we had only listened! There’s an MP3 available too, let me know if you are interested and I’ll look it up.


  4. TRON
    June 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    This should save the average American about $2000 per year. Compare us to Switzerland which has basically the same system.


  5. outside the corridor
    June 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    Here I am, raising my hand . . .

    paying cash for alternative health care–

    and supporting conventional medical care for my neighbors–

  6. Jon
    June 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm #


    I believe, in the past, they called that slavery, today they have a nicer words for it, socialism/mercantilism/fascism/etc.

  7. Lynne
    July 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Having read the entire bill as currently constituted, spending seven years as an intellectual property researcher for an international patent and contract attorney, I have a couple of personal observations. The language of the bill, the obviously careful drafting of the legal verbiage structure would have been years or even decades in the making. It is written with just enough ambiguity to achieve any future agenda, but with enough verbal backlock to prevent intentional limiting or downsizing of the particulars. Provision is made for mandated microchipping of ALL participants, thirty six months from confirmation (not from stamp by SCOTUS), which means that Americans have until March 13, 2013 to decide if they will participate and be microchipped. Another subtle feature of the bill is the requirement that participants be current in all recommended vaccinations in order for medical service to be provided. Even a superficial web search of microchipping and vaccination issues will provide anyone with an open mind some cause to think about the March 13, 2013 date coming up fast, and plan their response. Of note also – working its way to ratification in the Senate (or may have already been passed) is a bill which would shut down the passports of any American owing $50,000 or more to the IRS. The IRS is the collection and penalty engine powering Obamacare – 12,000 new IRS agents have just been added, plans in the works for three times that by the end of the year. The “tax” will be deducted from paychecks, or from business checking accounts if self-employed, by EFT. If I choose not to participate in Obamacare, if the “tax” is more than I can afford, if penalties and interest on that “tax” start to spiral exponentially and I owe $50,000 in short order, if my passport is cancelled so I can’t leave the country, what will I do? They have my paycheck. I can’t work or pay bills or rent a place, or pay regstration on my car or buy food or pay utility bills or camp on state or federal lands. If I have to be microchipped and vaccinated, or else I can’t buy and sell and live and move freely – what is this really all about? It’s not about the Canadian system or the Swiss system, or even a variation of the Romney system. New game all the way. If this offends you, please go get a flu shot.

  8. jimzo
    July 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    Thank you for the translation, man it pays to read the fine print. MIcrochipping, how convenient to keep track and control people. I worked for a company which worked with similiar tracking systems. Great for keeping inventory, but scary when thinking of applying that to humans. An employee had mentioned to me that all those electronic entrance keys could be read wherever they go. At least those were not implanted.

  9. outside the corridor
    July 2, 2012 at 5:39 am #

    thank you, Lynne–

    my husband and I have a lot of research to do on this–

    How did you find the bill? Online?

    The problem is that it will take the skills of both of us to do what you did–

  10. Nick
    July 2, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    1. The Sixteenth Amendment needs to be revised and at least limited.

    2. The Seventeenth Amendment needs to be repealed.

    3. The Federal Reserve act needs to be repealed or at least severely changed.

    Until these three things are done, we don’t have a “limited” federal government.

  11. Charles D
    July 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    So the federal government asserts the right to spy on your phone calls and emails without a warrant and conservatives say little or nothing. Then they declare the right to imprison citizens indefinitely based on government accusations without evidence, and nada. Then they declare the right to murder American citizens without any judicial process whatever, and nada again. Then the government asserts the right to tax anyone who doesn’t purchase private health insurance and the right goes bonkers and starts talking about nullification and secession. What is wrong with this picture?

    I am opposed to Obama/Romneycare also, but on the grounds that it won’t work either to cover everyone or to reduce costs. But why is it that this one issue gets the right in such a froth, when we saw very little opposition on the other issues which are far more threatening to our rights?

  12. Clumpy
    July 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    @Charles D

    Whatever the legitimate reasons for supporting or opposing the PPACA, it’s clear that the vehement Republican opposition to the bill stems not from principle but from the need to dredge up some fear and paranoia from their base in an election year. “Obamacare” is virtually identical to a 1993 GOP health care plan, for crying out loud! We’re radicalizing to the Right as a nation, but not out of adherence to a set of values or morals; this conflict has all of the fortitude and legitimacy of a football rivalry. The neocon movement accelerated the precedence of jingoism and political marketing over principle, civil debate, context, and discussion, and the game has only stepped up since.

    It’s in the best interest of the GOP to court those who aren’t particularly interested in political analysis informed by consistent principle or context, who follow demagogues and conspiracy theorists, and who build up a massive web of cherrypicked facts to make themselves feel more important (“This news story can be interpreted as an assault directly against MY creed, color, religion, or use of crystal ‘ionizing’ coasters to cure cancer!”). As demonstrated by the plummeting of comment quality every time one of these hot-button issues comes up on this blog, they’re doing an effective job of steering our national consciousness and discourse toward the topics they’re comfortable allowing us to debate. They don’t even have to tell us to ignore the man behind the curtain – broader issues that ought to concern us more as a people – because we’ve long since applied those blinders ourselves.

  13. jimzo
    July 2, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    I am there with you. If I am required to buy health care, I want the option for it to cover Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, even more obscure alternatives like homopathy and gerson therapy. Just because I believe that one single view doesn’t cover every possibility that could work. The majority think that Allopathic medicine is the best or even the only one that works. But why leave it up to them to decide that for anyone else? It seems like its giving it an unfair advantage.

  14. Charles D
    July 2, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Jimzo, since most private health insurance companies do not cover homeopathy and other alternative therapies, do you reject private health insurance? One what basis should an insurer, public or private, determine what therapies should be covered? Should every person be able to bill for whatever treatment regimen they think is appropriate?

  15. jimzo
    July 3, 2012 at 6:23 am #

    That was a problem I had with regular insurance. I would have liked to have TCM with regular insurance, but mine never covered it. Someone told me that there are some insurance companies which covered TCM, mine never did. But I did get chiropractic. I don’t know about homoeopathy really, just citing that as an example of options.

  16. ojimz
    July 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    What if the constitution doesn’t mean what you think it does?

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