Skip to comments.Why the Individual Mandate is still constitutional
Posted on 06/30/2012 7:57:31 AM PDT by madprof98
Since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Obama health law on Thursday, I have received a number of messages from listeners and readers arguing that because the Justices found the individual mandate was a tax, it was unconstitutional, as that plan didn't start in the House.
"Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution states that 'All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House,'" is what the Constitution says, these readers argue.
They go on to say that since the mandate was added in the Senate, and not in the House, the entire plan should have been found unconstitutional.
Sounds simple enough, but I'm sorry, that's not going to derail the Obama health law.
Let me explain.
At issue is bill number H.R. 3590, which became the legislative vehicle for the Obama health law, known officially as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
When that bill originated in the House of Representatives, it was known as the "Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009."
That bill was approved by the House on October 8, 2009 by a vote of 416-0, and then sent to the Senate.
As Democrats started to push ahead on health care reform in the Senate, they knew about the constitutional prohibition stated above, that all revenue bills must start in the House.
So, they found a legislative vehicle - H.R. 3590 - and simply amended that revenue bill with the language that ultimately became the revenue provisions of the health care law.
The Senate passed that bill on Christmas Eve of 2009, and then the House approved that plan on March 21.
The House also approved another bill, H.R. 4872, which made a series of changes in H.R. 3590. The House acted on March 21; the Senate approved that same plan on March 25, 2009.
If the bill approved by the Senate had any constitutional issues dealing with tax revenues, it would have been stopped in the House by what's known as a "blue-slip" objection, as the House protects its constitutional power to act first on revenue and spending bills.
There is a lot of legislative history to support the Senate taking a minor revenue bill from the House and making major changes; I saw it up close and personal the first time in 1982 when the Senate used a miscellaneous revenue bill and turned it into a major tax measure that was ultimately signed by President Reagan.
So, to all those sending me notes that say the Obama health law is unconstitutional now because the individual mandate was declared to be a tax by the Supreme Court, sorry, but that's just not the case.
The mandate's tax penalty was included in a revenue bill that originated in the House.
There is no constitutional issue on that front
There's no way this is a tax. The President has made it quite clear that the $2,000 a person has to pay for refusing to buy health insurance is a punishment for disobedience, not a tax.
--Press Secretary Jay Carney
The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.
-- Frederick Douglass
Despite whatever Roberts deemed for the Tyrant Obama
and Ms. Pelosi (who put him there by perjury),
the Constitution is clear and precise on
exactly what constitutes a ‘tax’ and
from where that it must arise.
I don’t know why the statists didn’t make the argument that when the military draft was held constitutional the principal of individual mandate was established.
If they can order you to pick up a gun and “go over the top”, or pay a tax of 10 years in Leavenworth, why can’t they order you to buy insurance?
At some point conservatives are going to have to come to the realization that the Republican Party better represents the idiology of big government and central management of the economy than it does small government and freedom. Until that happens we are going to continue to get stabbed in the back by these stealth politicians and judicial nominations.
If the GOP wants to represent big government then let them get money and votes from people who share that view. The days of me supporting candidates like George Bush (both of them) and Mitt Romney are over.
Dupree’s point is precisely that the Constitutional requirement was fulfilled in the sleight-of-hand way that the bill came into being.
I just won't play their game anymore. I no longer think a federal government is required, and it is a detriment.
You can only govern when the governed submit.
I'm done. We don't need a federal government. I pick the 'abolish' button. I don't want to fix it, I just want it gone.
Many different kinds of bills can originate in the House. I want to know if HR 3590 was a “revenue” bill when left the House?
In addition, the Obama Admin claims it is not a tax but rather it's a penalty, which in that case, Justice Roberts declared the penalty via the commerce clause unconstitutional.
Good points...but too many today cant tell the difference between a conservative and a republican...and automatically think an R next to someones name means “conservative”
I do not hold out for much hope that Romney, the Grandfather of ObamaCare, will really overturn ObamaCare
I dont know why the statists didnt make the argument that when the military draft was held constitutional the principal of individual mandate was established.
If they can order you to pick up a gun and go over the top, or pay a tax of 10 years in Leavenworth, why cant they order you to buy insurance?
Their shills did try to make this argument. But they knew that this power came from a different part of the Constitution. Art 1 Section 8 has a clause that provides for organizing and arming the militia.
The problem is, if it IS a tax, the Supreme Court lacked standing to rule. That’s where this whole thing falls apart.
Analysis, including discussion of the Anti-Injunction Act of 1867:
"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."
-- James Madison, the father of the U.S. Constitution
Sorry, but the major flaw is yours.
Whether called a "tax" or a "penalty", it IS "revenue", therefore covered.
A better challenge might be to challenge the law on equal protection grounds, since in the law certain privileged groups were granted waivers from having to pay what is now a “tax”.
Jizya - a tax for those who decline to be subject to government mandated religion ... oops, I meant government mandated healthcare.
Amen brother. Amen.
Amen brother. Amen.
You obviously didn’t read Justice Roberts ruling. Go read it then shoot your mouth off.
Yes, he did rule it unconstitutional under the commerce clause, but constitutional if considered a "tax bill".
And any "tax/revenue bill" must originate in the house, which this one did, albeit with ugly machinations.