Even before the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) became law, Constitutional law scholars and limited-government advocates were preparing to sue the federal government over the law’s unconstitutional provisions. Across the country, more than 30 lawsuits were filed, three of them involving a total of 28 states as plaintiffs.
One of the cases, originally Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services, moved quickly and successfully to the Supreme Court level. A district court judge and an appellate circuit court sided with the law’s challengers, ruling that the law’s mandate requiring every American to buy health insurance was an overreach of federal power.
Now this issue and other related issues are before the Supreme Court. the Court will consider 1) whether the individual mandate can be considered a tax, 2) whether the individual mandate is a Constitutional exercise of Congress’s commerce regulation power, 3) whether the individual mandate can be voided without voiding the rest of the law, and 4) whether the law’s expansion of the Medicaid program is coercive to states. The justices will hear oral arguments in late March, and rule in June.
This is an issue of great national importance. Americans want to know with certainty what laws and regulations will shape our health care system. We don’t want to see more time, energy and money wasted on what could be an unconstitutional law. And perhaps even more importantly, this court battle will determine the future of individual rights in America. If the Court upholds this overreach of federal government power, individuals and states will no longer have the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution, and our system of governance will be forever changed.