November 26, 2013

Obamacare headed for U.S. Supreme Court again

By Christina M. Martin Attorney

The diagnosis is getting worse for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – Obamacare. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would hear Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius and Conestoga Wood Corp. v. Sebelius. Both cases challenge Obamacare’s mandate that employers pay for health insurance plans that give employees coverage for contraceptives. The owners of these businesses object for religious reasons.  The Obama administration has attempted to justify its mandate by arguing that for-profit corporations do not have religious freedom rights.  But businesses are ultimately owned by entrepreneurs.  For example, in Hobby Lobby, the Green family owns Hobby Lobby (craft stores) and a chain of Christian book stores.  Entrepreneurs should not lose their constitutional rights just because they decide to incorporate and work for a profit.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg ahead for Obamacare.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will soon be hearing arguments in Coons v. Geithner, a case challenging IPAB – the unelected board that under Obamacare has authority to unilaterally make healthcare law without any checks or balances. And PLF’s own lawsuit, Sissel v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, could end Obamacare completely.  PLF argues that the passage of Obamacare violated the Constitution’s Origination Clause.  In other words, if Obamacare is a tax (as the Supreme Court said last year), then it is an unconstitutional tax.

In the meantime, public support for Obamacare is low, and disgust over glitchy websites and canceled policies high. Hopefully, through either the legislature or the courts, the constitution will ultimately triumph and Obamacare will finally kick the bucket.

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