Obamacare’s Best Allies: The Courts And The Republicans

By ruling for the government in the case of King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court once again tied itself into rhetorical and logical knots to defend Obamacare. In King, the court disregarded Obamacare’s clear language regarding eligibility for federal health care subsides, on the grounds that enforcing the statute as written would cause havoc in the marketplace. The court found that Congress could not have intended this result and that the court needed to uphold Congress’s mythical intention and ignore Obamacare’s actual language.

While Obamacare may be safe from court challenges, its future is far from assured. As Obamacare forces more Americans to pay higher insurance premiums while causing others to lose their insurance or lose access to the physicians of their choice, opposition to Obamacare will grow. Additional Americans will turn against Obamacare as their employers reduce their hours, along with their paychecks, because of Obamacare’s mandates.

As dissatisfaction with Obamacare grows, there will be renewed efforts to pass a single-payer health care system. Single-payer advocates will point to Obamacare’s corporatist features as being responsible for its failures and claim the only solution is to get the private sector completely out of health care.

Unfortunately, many Republicans will inadvertently aid the single-payer advocates by failing to acknowledge that Obamacare is not socialist but corporatist, and that that the pre-Obamacare health care system was hobbled by government intervention. In fact, popular support for Obamacare was rooted in the desire to address problems created by prior government interference in the health care marketplace.

Republicans also help the cause of socialized medicine by pretending that Obamacare can be fixed with minor reforms. These Republicans do not understand that replacing Obamacare with “Obamacare Lite” will still leave millions of Americans with inadequate access to quality health care, and could strengthen the movement for a single-payer system.

Republicans’ failure to advocate for a free-market health care system is not just rooted in intellectual error and political cowardice. The insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the other special interests that benefit from a large government role in health care are just as — or perhaps even more — influential in the Republican Party as in the Democratic Party. The influence of these interests is one reason why, despite their free-market rhetoric, Republicans have a long history of expanding the government’s role in health care.

Those who think a Republican president and Congress will enact free-market health care should consider that the last time Republicans controlled Congress and the White House, their signature health care achievement was to expand federal health care spending and entitlements. Furthermore, Richard Nixon worked with Ted Kennedy to force all health care plans to offer a health maintenance organization (HMO). Even Obamacare’s individual mandate originated in a conservative think tank and was first signed into law by a Republican governor.

Instead of Obamacare Lite, Congress should support giving individuals direct control over their health care dollars through individual health care tax credits and expanded access to health savings accounts. Other reforms like long-term group insurance could ensure that those with “pre-existing conditions” have access to care. Another good reform is negative outcomes insurance that could help resolve the medical malpractice crisis.

America’s health care system is just as unsustainable as our foreign policy and our monetary system. At some point, the financial and human costs of Obamacare will prove overwhelming; and Congress will be forced to replace this system. Hopefully, before this happens, a critical mass of people will convince Congress to replace Obamacare with a truly free-market health care system.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Government Hegemony Expands To Meaning Of Words!

This past week, the Supreme Court struck another major blow to common sense and the English language. In a ruling upholding the subsidies afforded to policies purchased on the federal insurance exchange, the SCOTUS opened a veritable Pandora’s Box of legal interpretation, and expanded power not only of the judiciary, but of the federal government itself.

Seven times throughout the Affordable Care Act (ACA), references are made to policies or individuals who are “enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under section 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act…” In each case, the context is citing policies purchased through insurance exchanges established and operated by the respective states. But the court ruled the actual legal language, and even the context, didn’t matter. What mattered was the “intent” of the Congress. So reading “tea leaves” now has greater weight with our legal system than the literal words of legal documents!

To be clear, the case was brought to the court on that very issue, whether the literal meaning of the words of the statute were legally binding. The decision was not regarding the efficacy of the ACA, or whether it’s feasible. The decision was on whether the law could be interpreted to support federal subsidies for states with no insurance exchange or only those states that had established their own exchange.

Even Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority decision, conceded that a strict reading of the Act clearly meant only policies purchased through individual state exchanges were eligible for federal subsidies. He wrote: “While the meaning of the phrase…may seem plain when viewed in isolation, such a reading turns out to be untenable in light of the statute as a whole. Those credits are necessary for the Federal Exchanges to function like their State Exchange counterparts, and to avoid the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.”

The Court has historically ruled on constitutionality of statute. With this decision, however, the Court has clearly become a proactive partner with Nancy Pelosi’s 111th Congress in writing the wholly inappropriately-named Affordable Care Act. Seven times, the Act described, in context, that subsidies would be available through Section 1311-sanctioned State Exchanges. Yet the Court by a 6-3 majority became a partner in writing the law, ex post facto, by redefining a key component of it.

Obviously, legislative intent is now more consequential than legal wording. This means that even legal documents generated by the government, which establish the rule of law by the selection and utilization of specific words and phrases, will not necessarily be judged based on what they actually say, but what the intent was. And since intent can be interpreted far beyond the scope of actual legalese, taking the government to court on any matter of law will now be a potentially arbitrary and spurious crapshoot.

To illustrate the absurdity of such a notion, imagine if the same principle applied to our legal documents regarding wills, property ownership, and child custody issues. If the Supreme Court’s logic, or illogic, were to be applied to our legal documents, what they say literally becomes inconsequential; for the intent is what is meaningful, not the words. We can claim that we didn’t intend to break the law when charged, but that doesn’t matter. But if we broke the law, what our intent was becomes inconsequential. Yet now, the government claims the plenipotentiary authority to claim that intent matters more than the actual law, and the language that created it. A government should never be able to do what an individual citizen can’t.

It’s common to take such a cavalier attitude towards what people or organizations say or write. They can say something, and then apologize for it, claiming that wasn’t their intent. But for government, this is a new low. It now has legal precedence to make the same claim with regard to statute and laws, if their intent was different than the actual wording of a law!

Justice Antonin Scalia illustrated the absurdity of the ruling in his dissent. “I wholeheartedly agree with the Court that sound interpretation requires paying attention to the whole law, not homing in on isolated words or even isolated sections. Context always matters. Let us not forget, however, why context matters: It is a tool for understanding the terms of the law, not an excuse for rewriting them…

“Far from offering the overwhelming evidence of meaning needed to justify the Court’s interpretation, other contextual clues undermine it at every turn. To begin with, other parts of the Act sharply distinguish between the establishment of an Exchange by a State and the establishment of an Exchange by the Federal Government….Provisions such as these destroy any pretense that a federal Exchange is in some sense also established by a State…

“The Court has not come close to presenting the compelling contextual case necessary to justify departing from the ordinary meaning of the terms of the law. Quite the contrary, context only underscores the outlandishness of the Court’s interpretation. Reading the Act as a whole leaves no doubt about the matter: ‘Exchange established by the State’ means what it looks like it means.”

This ruling is not dissimilar from the 2012 ruling upholding the mandate of Obamacare. That ruling sustained the Act by identifying the “mandate” as a “tax.” It would appear with two major SCOTUS decisions upholding the Act that the only way it can be deemed constitutional is by the Court’s new precedence of reinterpreting and changing what the words actually say, legally. In other words, jumping through logical and linguistic hoops to make it so. As Senator Rand Paul said, “This decision turns both the rule of law and common sense on its head.”

The omnipotent authority of the government over individual lives is now complete, when words can mean whatever the government chooses to make them mean. Alexander Hamilton, upon the founding of the nation, declared: “It’s not tyranny we desire; it’s a just, limited, federal government.” When government can arbitrarily change, reinterpret, and alter statute, after the fact, it is no longer just, or limited. It is totalitarian and hegemonic!

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Undeniable Quotes: The Founding Fathers Warn About SCOTUS

Picture Jafar when he turned into a genie in Aladdin. The world’s most “all powerful genie.” Got it? Okay. That’s become the SCOTUS. We live in an era of waiting for a single day each June when the Supreme Court declares to us what our communities shall become and how culture will be shaped. That’s not what our Founders intended. Schoolhouse Rock that junk, yo!

The Founders gave us a system of three separate but equal branches of government. That means the president doesn’t get to write executive orders, and it means the Supreme Court doesn’t get to determine our national morality.

The Supreme Court was intended to be a check and balance for the Executive and Legislative branches, as the Executive and Legislative are to be a check on the Judicial. None of the three branches are to hold a position of power which is higher than the others. Got it? Okay.

SCOTUS

Now hold your nose, because here comes the cold water. Today, that is exactly what SCOTUS is doing. Rather than return the Affordable Care Act to Congress for corrections, they swept in to do Congress’ job for them. Rather than allow states to determine their own laws on marriage (as they do with divorce, custody, legal fault, etc.), they’ve swept in to do the job in place of “we the people.”

What would the Founders say about what the Supreme Court’s become? They’d call it overruling. They’d say Americans cannot long be free with such a centralized power dictating our laws. They’d call it tyranny. They’d call SCOTUS a despotic branch of government. As a matter of fact… they did.

Unshackled by the burdens of modern political correctness,  we now punt to some of the greatest men and minds in our nation’s history, providing their most relevant quotes as pertaining to the overreach we now see from the Supreme Court:

“The powers properly belonging to one of the departments ought not to be directly and completely administered by either of the other departments. It is equally evident, that none of them ought to possess, directly or indirectly, an overruling influence over the others, in the administration of their respective powers. It will not be denied, that power is of an encroaching nature, and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it.” – James Madison

“A question arises whether all the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judicial, shall be left in this body? I think a people cannot be long free, nor ever happy, whose government is in one Assembly.” – John Adams

Madison SCOTUS

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” – James Madison

“[N]othing in the Constitution has given [the judiciary] a right to decide for the Executive, more than to the executive to decide for them. Both magistracies are equally independent in the sphere of action assigned to them… the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional, and what are not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action, but for the Legislature & Executive also, in their spheres, would make the judiciary a despotic branch.“- Thomas Jefferson

“[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.” – Alexander Hamilton

Holy crap. I’m sensing some major micro-aggression coming on…

Since they are deceased, send your official grievances to @SCrowder on Twitter.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Ted Cruz Has An EPIC Message For ‘Rogue’ Supreme Court Justices

Texas Senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz did not hold back in expressing what he thinks about the Supreme Court’s two most controversial decisions in recent memory.

Cruz told radio talk show host Sean Hannity: “Today is some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history.”

“I couldn’t say it more eloquently,” Hannity responded.

“Yesterday and today were both naked and shameless judicial activism,” Cruz went on. “Neither decision — the decision yesterday rewriting Obamacare for the second time. Six justices joined the Obama administration. You now have President Obama, Kathleen Sebelius and six justices responsible for forcing this failed disaster of a law on millions of Americans, and simply rewriting the law in a way that is fundamentally contrary to their judicial oaths.”

“And then today, this radical decision purporting to strike down the marriage laws of every state. It has no connection to the United States Constitution. They are simply making it up,” Cruz said. “It is lawless, and in doing so, they have undermined the fundamentally legitimacy of the United States Supreme Court.”

“If those justices want to become legislators, I invite them to resign and run for office,” Cruz reprimanded. “That’s the appropriate place to write laws — on this floor, not that courtroom.”

Cruz took to the Senate floor yesterday to express his profound disagreement with the Supreme Court’s decision regarding Obamacare subsidies paid through the federal exchange.

“These rogue Houdinis have transmogrified a federal exchange into an exchange ‘established by the state.’ This is lawless,” the senator asserted.

He quoted Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote in the dissent that “Words no longer have meaning” and that the law should be referred to as “SCOTUScare” because of the Supreme Court’s commitment to saving it using “somersaults” of statutory interpretation.

“Unelected judges have once again become legislators and bad ones at that,” said Cruz. “They are lawless, and they hide the prevarication in legalise. Our government was designed to be one of laws, not men.”

The senator then used the same metaphor Chief Justice John Roberts (author of yesterday’s Obamacare majority opinion) employed during his 2005 confirmation hearing to define the role of those who sit on the high court. “These justices are not behaving as umpires calling balls and strikes,” said Cruz. “They have joined a team, and it’s a team that is hurting Americans across this country.”

Roberts said in his opening statement at his confirmation hearing: “Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules; they apply them…And I will remember that it’s my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.”

Both Cruz and Roberts began their legal careers serving as clerks on the Supreme Court for the conservative Chief Justice William Rehnquist, a decade apart. Perhaps, Cruz invoked the memory of their former boss to highlight that Roberts had strayed from the beliefs about the rule of law and role of the court for which Rehnquist stood (though the former Chief Justice would have likely approved of Roberts’ stance regarding whether the court should redefine marriage. For those supporters of same-sex marriage, Roberts wrote “…celebrate today’s decision…but do not celebrate the Constitution. It has nothing to do with it. I respectfully dissent.”)

“If Chief Justice Rehnquist could see this court today,” said Cruz, “he would be filled with sorrow at what has become of the Supreme Court of the United States.”

The candidate then shifted his focus to what is next. “It is now up to us, to keep our promise,” he said. “I believe 2016 will be a national referendum on repealing Obamacare….I remain fully committed to repealing every single word of [it].”

h/t: Daily Caller and The Politistick

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Supreme Court Is NOT The Ultimate Arbiter Of The Constitution

SCOTUS is NOT the ultimate arbiter of the Constitution; the STATES hold that power. How does it make any sense that one part of the federal government holds the authority to determine the power of the whole?

It makes no sense; and as a matter of fact, James Madison told us that in no uncertain terms:

“…that the ultimate right of the States, to judge whether the compact has been dangerously violated, must extend to violations by one delegated authority as well as by another–by the judiciary as well as by the executive, or the legislature.” Virginia Assembly Report 1800

However, that is exactly what has happened with Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion in King v. Burwell. It seems that the Supreme Court has forgotten that we are a Constitutional Republic–and that the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, not Congress. Interestingly, all you need to know about the King v. Burwell decision is contained in the second-to-last paragraph of the majority opinion. Consider these words:

In a democracy, the power to make the law rests with those chosen by the people. Our role is more confined—“to say what the law is.” Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177 (1803). That is easier in some cases than in others. But in every case we must respect the role of the Legislature, and take care not to undo what it has done. A fair reading of legislation demands a fair understanding of the legislative plan.”  (emphasis mine)

IF we were a democracy, as Roberts is asserting, this opinion would be absolutely correct–Obamacare would result from an absolutely lawful use of federal power, and we would have no real argument to make. However, we are NOT a democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic. In a Constitutional Republic, the Legislature is NOT unlimited in its power and authority. Article 6, clause 2, The Supremacy Clause, makes it perfectly clear that there is a hierarchy to the federal system and that the Legislature is NOT on top; the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land.

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof;…shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”

When Roberts says, “But in every case we must respect the role of the Legislature, and take care not to undo what it has done,” he is asserting that whenever the Legislature makes a law, we are bound by it without question. Nothing could be further from the truth. According to the Supremacy Clause, we have an obligation to undo what Congress has done if what they are doing is not “made in pursuance” to the Constitution.

Additionally, if the “Laws of the United States” are not made in pursuance to the Constitution, then they cannot legally exist. To allow Legislative Acts contrary to the Constitution to remain law would elevate the Congress ABOVE the Constitution, destroying the Constitution itself and transmuting the nature of our Republic into an Oligarchy.

There is no specific enumeration in the Constitution for the federal government to provide healthcare to the States or the people. There is only errant interpretation of clauses to justify such an exercise of power.

Because there is no specific enumeration for healthcare, the Tenth Amendment makes it very clear that healthcare is not a power to be exercised by the federal government.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” (emphasis mine)

But what does Roberts use to justify this federal encroachment? Not a clause from the Constitution, but an opinion by the Supreme Court, Marbury v. Madison. How convenient that the Supreme Court can write opinions that declare themselves the ultimate rulers of the universe and then be allowed to credibly use those opinions to justify their emperor-like behavior! Ironically, the most important role of the Supreme Court is to make sure that the Congress acts within its Constitutional limitations. But since it is ridiculous to believe that any entity of power would act on its own to limit itself, our framers didn’t trust these federal employees with that task. They trusted the States.

Madison declares in 1789 that the STATES are to be the ultimate control against the expansion of federal power, the greatest opponents to the federal government necessary to preserve the Liberty of the people:

“The State legislatures will…be able to resist with more effect every assumption of power than any other power on earth can do; and the greatest opponents to a federal government admit the state legislatures to be sure guardians of the people’s liberty.” House of Representatives 1789 (emphasis mine)

But, when the States REFUSE to live up to their obligations and allow any branch of the federal government to expand power and limit the people and the States, they are simply declaring that they believe we are not a Constitutional Republic, but instead a Federal Kingdom built of 50 colonies subject to the whim of the feds.

Justice Roberts told the States in the original PPAC opinion:

“We look to the States to defend the their prerogatives by adopting the simple expedient of not yielding to federal blandishments when they do not want to embrace federal policies as their own. The States are SEPARATE AND INDEPENDENT SOVEREIGNS. Sometimes they have to act like it.” (emphasis mine)

We are not a democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic, where the federal government is limited by specifically enumerated powers. It is time for the States to ACT like States, instead of cowering like colonies. It is time for the States to fulfill their obligation to be the SURE GUARDIANS OF THE PEOPLES’ LIBERTIES.

It is time to dethrone the Supreme Court. It is time to STAND for the Constitutional Republic and defy this theft of State Power and destruction of the Constitution.

Healthcare is NOT a specifically enumerated power delegated to the federal government. The exercise of that power is therefore contrary to the Constitution. According to the Supremacy Clause, any law by Congress that is not made in pursuance to the Constitution is NOT the law of the land. That makes the law null-and-void of any force. Since the Affordable Care Act is NO LAW AT ALL, when we REFUSE TO COMPLY we are not breaking the law…we are enforcing the Supreme Law of the Land, defending our Republic, and guarding our Liberty!

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth