Originally posted at FreedomWorks.org.
Republicans are preparing their course of action as they await the Supreme Court’s highly-anticipated ruling on the constitutionality of ObamaCare. The disastrous health care overhaul bill should be declared unconstitutional, but unfortunately, not all Republicans want it to be gutted in its entirety. Some prominent Republicans are pledging to preserve the so-called most “popular” provisions even if the monstrous law is overturned.
There is a growing number of Republicans vowing to keep the “slacker mandate” in place, forcing insurance companies to provide coverage for the children of customers up until such “children” reach age 26. Speaking as a young adult under this age threshold, it is insulting that the federal government treats people in their mid-20s as children.
Not only do some Republicans wish to keep the slacker mandate, but they think it doesn’t go far enough. Republican Congressman Steve Stivers wants to one-up Obama by expanding the slacker mandate to cover “kids” up to age 31. Come on, now.
There is nothing in ObamaCare that is worth saving. Every single provision in the massive 2,801 page bill infringes on the liberty of all Americans. The entire law should be thrown out—no exceptions. ObamaCare should go down in the history books as a big mistake that will never be repeated.
Politicians in both parties want to turn the United States into a paternalistic society. But the government’s role should not be to take of people from cradle to grave. Rather than actually fixing existing problems, the government only creates new problems.
The under-26 coverage mandate has unintended consequences written all over it. Thankfully, Senator Jim DeMint has spoken out against preserving the slacker mandate. On his blog, he comments how the mandate would hurt economic growth:
The under-26 mandate could have a negative impact on jobs and the economy, in two respects. First, to the extent that businesses are forced to absorb the billions of dollars in costs associated with the mandate, they would prove less eager to take on additional workers, or increase hours for existing workers. Second, numerous studies have illustrated that extended unemployment benefits tend to lengthen the average duration of unemployment, and increase the unemployment rate, by discouraging individuals from looking for work…For similar reasons, some would argue that the under-26 mandate likewise provides financial incentives that discourage work, thereby increasing unemployment.
He also writes that the mandate will lead to a spike in health insurance premiums:
Multiple studies have suggested that every 1% increase in premiums increases the number of uninsured by approximately 200,000-300,000 individuals nationwide. With the under-26 mandate raising premiums by at least 1%, and potentially much more for some plans, it is reasonable to conclude that hundreds of thousands of individuals have lost coverage –because they were priced out of the individual market, or because their employers decided to stop offering coverage — as a result of the new requirements.
More Republicans need to grow a spine and pledge to get rid of ObamaCare– all of it. Good riddance.
After several federal judges have declared ObamaCare unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has finally decided that it will hear challenges to the health care overhaul law. This could be one of the most closely watched and politically charged Supreme Court case in the past few decades. While I hope that the nation’s highest court makes the correct decision regarding ObamaCare, we shouldn’t automatically trust the justices to uphold the Constitution.
We all know that the Constitution grants very few powers to the federal government. Only about thirty enumerated powers are listed throughout the entire document. Our founding document clearly prohibits the federal government from forcing citizens to purchase a product simply because they exist. Almost everything that Congress does is not within bounds of the Constitution yet the Supreme Court rarely ever strikes down a law as unconstitutional. Between the years 1937 to 1995, the Supreme Court did not declare one single law unconstitutional according to the Tenth Amendment Center. This is exactly what Thomas Jefferson feared.
Jefferson warned that if the federal government has a monopoly on determining the extent of its own powers, these powers would continue to grow regardless of separation of powers. This is why James Madison declared that states were “duty bound to resist” any federal law that violated the Constitution. A majority of the states have pushed back against the health care overhaul law. The recent passage of Issue 3 also known as the Ohio Healthcare Freedom Amendment is a win for the states against federal abuse.
The main point is just because ObamaCare is unconstitutional doesn’t mean the Supreme Court will rule it so. Some justices more than others have shown that they are not interested in upholding our founding document. They wrongly see it as a “living document” that can be interpreted as they please based on the political whims of the day. Their dangerous philosophy has essentially rendered the Constitution pointless. As historian Kevin Gutzman says, “those who give us a living Constitution are actually giving us a dead Constitution, since such a thing is completely unable to protect us from the encroachments of government power.”
Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan made it clear that she sees almost no limits to federal power in her confirmation hearing last summer. She was even unable to answer a question on whether it is constitutional for the federal government to force citizens to eat three vegetables and three fruits every day. Knowing what we are up against, is there anything we can do to help ensure that the Supreme Court makes the right decision? I would say that the best thing we can do is to call on Justice Elena Kagan recuse herself—abstain from participating from the case—due to a conflict of interest.
Elena Kagan as Solicitor General for the Obama administration claims she was present at “at least one” meeting regarding strategy for the defense of ObamaCare. The Judicial Crisis Network has made the case that her involvement is much more substantial than she is admitting. Emails obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act reveal that she cheered on the passage of ObamaCare in a number of emails. On March 21, 2010, an email was exchanged between Kagan and then-Senior Counselor for Access Justice Laurence Tribe. Kagan writes “I hear they have the votes!! Simply amazing…” and Tribe responds “So healthcare is basically done! Remarkable.”
Elena Kagan should recuse herself from the case as matter of integrity. She has recused herself from 29 of 82 Supreme Court cases because of her previous work as Solicitor General. The ObamaCare case should be no exception. Section 455 of Title 28 of the United States Code (the Judicial Code) states that “any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Now, I’m not a lawyer, but I believe that calling the passage of ObamaCare “simply amazing” and using double exclamation points implies a bit (okay, a lot) of partiality.
Let’s hope that the Supreme Court actually stands up for the original intent of the Constitution. Justice Elena Kagan is not a defender of our constitutional rights; she is a partisan cheerleader for ObamaCare. Regardless of what the Supreme Court happens to rule next June, ObamaCare is a clear violation of the Constitution and should be immediately repealed for the sake of our health care freedom.
Originally posted at FreedomWorks.org.
On November 3, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in a case over Arizona’s popular school choice program. Arizona’s well-known 13 year old Individual Scholarship Tax Credit program offers tax credits to those who donate to fund scholarships for students to attend a private school. Unfortunately, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona filed a lawsuit claiming that the program was unconstitutional since many children have voluntarily chosen to attend religious private schools.
For many years, school choice programs have been under attack from powerful teachers unions, some politicians and others. However, the ACLU who claims to protect individual rights should be a main supporter of school choice. These programs allow students to escape their local failing school to attend a better school that meets their individual needs. As a result, parents and students have a wide array of nonreligious and religious schools to choose from.
Under Arizona’s school choice program, residents who donate to any of the 54 school tuition organizations receive a tax credit. Last year, 73,000 residents donated $50 million to fund these scholarship programs. All residents have the option to donate to the many non-religious scholarship organizations. This scholarship tax credit program allows approximately 28,000 students to receive a better education. According to Tim Keller, executive director of Institute for Justice’s Arizona chapter,
Private choice, not government action, controls Arizona’s tax credit program. The entire program is religiously neutral. Taxpayers and parents have no financial incentive to donate to either a religiously affiliated scholarship organization over a nonreligious scholarship organization or to select a religious over a nonreligious school.
The Supreme Court’s decision will have major implications for other school choice programs around the country. Many states have similar tax credit scholarship programs including Iowa, Georgia, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. With the fight for school choice heating up in Pennsylvania, the ruling has the potential to hurt countless parents and students.
In a Goldwater Institute report, they found:
a significant number of Arizona families with incomes below $30,000 are benefiting from school choice policies.
In fact, 90 percent of the school tuition organizations reward scholarships based on financial need. Additionally, Baylor University Economics Professor Charles North found that the scholarship tax credit program saves Arizona taxpayers somewhere from $99.8 to $241.5 million.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the ACLU claiming that the program was unconstitutional. If the Supreme Court upholds this decision, thousands of children would be forced to return to their local public schools. Dr. Charles North also finds that 11,697 students would have no choice but to return to their local public school without scholarship credit. However, the Center for Arizona Policy estimates that number to be much higher:
Since the committee found that approximately two-thirds of the scholarships are awarded to students from low-income families, it is extremely likely that more than one-fourth of the current students receiving scholarships would not be able to attend a private school without the scholarship, so the program results in savings to the State.
In an Institute for Justice video, the Dennard family whose five children receive an educational scholarship says:
We started to have a family and have children and when we did that their quality of education became a major issue. The public schools in south Phoenix are inadequate. Arizona’s scholarship program gave our family the opportunity, gave us a choice, they gave us the opportunity to choose the school that we want in our neighborhood…please don’t cut this program out. It has benefitted my family, my children have a great education, they are going on to college now.
The Arizona school choice program has been a win-win. It saves taxpayers money while increasing parental satisfaction and student achievement. While the Arizona scholarship program is still limited, the Goldwater Institute states that:
scholars have demonstrated… that school choice had led to academic gains at the school level, both in Arizona and elsewhere.
Since parents have a true private choice, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Ohio’s school choice program in Zelman v. Simmon-Harris in 2002. Let’s hope that the recently sworn in Supreme Court justices also understand that Arizona’s scholarship program has the secular purpose of allowing children the freedom to escape their local failing public school.