Obamacare is NOT “Here to Stay”

July 1, 2015

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NOTE: To cover the SCOTUS ruling on Obamacare premium subsidies, this post is longer than usual but take a look at our photos from Washington, D.C., read key parts we found in the disturbing King v. Burwell ruling, and see why we know Obamacare is not here to stay!
 
 
We were in Washington, D.C. all last week to protect your health freedom. Specifically, we told staffer after staffer not to extend the ACA subsidies if the administration lost the Obamacare King v. Burwell lawsuit – it didn’t - and we opposed two sections of the intrusive 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6), which is up for a vote in the U.S. House the week of July 6. 
 
I was outside the U.S. Supreme Court when the Obamacare ruling was issued.  Four interns from the news media suddenly burst onto the plaza from the Supreme Court building. As they flew across the white marble with a ruling in hand (see photo), I wondered if it was the King v. Burwell Obamacare ruling or the Obergefell v. Hodges same-sex marriage ruling – or neither. When the Obamacare supporters suddenly cheered, I knew. In a 6-3 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts again, as in 2012, ignored the Rule of Law to save Obamacare.
 
                                               
 
For two hours, I gave interviews to reporters. Nearby, a group of 40-50 young adults cheered, chanted and danced for the media. They waved professionally-printed, pro-ACA signs, possibly made by the Center for American Progress, which helped write the law and had a spokeswoman there.
 
I made two points: 1) the ruling was a violation of the Rule of Law and thus, a serious strike against the foundation of our freedom; and 2) People in the 37 states without a state exchange lost their right to be free from the Obamacare individual and employer mandates and penalties, including the 6.4 million people with subsidies, many of whom likely bought coverage to avoid the IRS penalties. See my comments in USA Today.
 
I then headed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office, where the towering stack of Obamacare regulations (#TheRedTapeTower) had been taken out of storage earlier that day at my request. I tweeted a photo (@twilabrase) with these words: “Time for Repeal: the #Obamacare regulations in living color.”

                                                      
 
The ruling is disturbing and filled with unconstitutional rationale. The very first sentence of the summary displayed either the Court’s ignorance or their attempt to mislead:The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act grew out of a long history of failed health insurance reform.” No, it was passed after a long history of trying to nationalize America’s health care system, as the White House details here.
 
Chief Justice John Roberts left jurisprudence behind when he declared, “the context and structure of the Act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase.” He said plaintiff’s arguments about the plain meaning of the text “are strong” but must be rejected, “because it would destabilize the individual insurance market in any State with a Federal Exchange, and likely create the very ‘death spirals’ that Congress designed the Act to avoid.” So he wrongly chose to act as legislator, not judge.
 
Justice Scalia gave a scathing rebuke in his dissent. He chastised the six justices who unconstitutionally rewrote the law rather than ruled on what the law actually said. He calls “quite absurd” their conclusion that an “Exchange established by the State” means an “Exchange established by the State or Federal Government.”
                                                        
Scalia said they gave their opinion “with no semblance of shame.” He charged the six with usurping the power of Congress: “This Court holds only the judicial power—the power to pronounce the law as Congress has enacted it. We lack the prerogative to repair laws that do not work out in practice.”
 
Scalia accused the six justices of crossing out “by the State” seven times in the Affordable Care Act and wrote, “ours is a government of laws and not of men. That means we are governed by the terms of our laws, not by the unenacted will of our lawmakers. … It is not our place to judge the quality of the care and deliberation that went into this or any other law. … Much less is it our place to make everything come out right when Congress does not do its job properly. … The Court’s insistence on making a choice that should be made by congress both aggrandizes judicial power and encourages congressional lassitude.” [emphasis added]
 
The end of his stinging summary is a must-read for every citizen:
 
…The Act that Congress passed makes tax credits available only on an “Exchange established by the State.” This Court, however, concludes that this limitation would prevent the rest of the Act from working as well as hoped. So it rewrites the law to make tax credits available everywhere. We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.
 
Perhaps the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will attain the enduring status of the Social Security Act or the Taft-Hartley Act; perhaps not. But this Court’s two decisions on the Act will surely be remembered through the years. The somersaults of statutory interpretation they have performed (“penalty” means tax, “further [Medicaid] payments to the State” means only incremental Medicaid payments to the State, “established by the State” means not established by the State) will be cited by litigants endlessly, to the confusion of honest jurisprudence. And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites.
 
I dissent.
 
Obama claims the ACA is “here to stay.” Pure applesauce, I say (using Scalia’s words). First of all, he doesn’t have the power to make it so. And he knows Obamacare remains deeply unpopular, that things are only going to get worse, and that Congress and an agreeable president can jettison his “legacy” lickety-split. Even pro-Obamacare expert Bob Laszewski essentially says ‘fiddlesticks!’ to Obama’s “here to stay” claims. Here are a few cost-based realities that may be all that’s needed to get a swift repeal in 2017:
 
·      New Tax Starts Today: An excise tax of $100/day per employee begins today for any size employer offering insurance that is not compliant with Obamacare. The tax could be as high as $36,500 per employee.
 
·      Consolidation: The pending mergers of the nation’s five largest health plans into a cabal of just three insurers means less competition and higher costs.
 
·      Subsidies Ending: Two ACA taxpayer-funded subsidy programs for health plans to encourage them to keep their premiums low disappear next year, leading to still higher premiums.
 
·      Low Enrollment: Many of the uninsured, whose dollars are needed to sustain the law, are not interested in coverage because it’s unaffordable. But exchanges need enrollment to pay for operating expenses.
 
·      Failing Infrastructure: State ACA exchanges are collapsing because of high operating costs and low enrollment.
 
·      Fraud: The IRS has no idea how many people with subsidies are eligible and how many should be kicked out, potentially decreasing exchange enrollment.
 
Ignore the President’s pretentious claims. He’s engaging in propaganda to demoralize you and the freedom-loving public. Obamacare is not here to stay. Patient lives, medical ethics, personal freedom, patient privacy, personal choice, access to doctors, and excellence of American medical care are all at stake. We can’t afford to lose this battle.
 
 
Your voice for health freedom,
 
Twila Brase, RN, PHN
President and Co-founder
 
P.S. Please do four things: 1) TELL your Members of Congress to defund Obamacare, 2) WORK for the presidential candidate you think is most willing to repeal the law, 3) APPLY pressure on all candidates during the campaign (secure recorded commitments to defund and repeal), and 4) DONATE $10, $35 or more to CCHF’s efforts to build the opposition needed to win repeal in 2017.