The Affordable Care Act may be headed to the Supreme Court—again—because Obamacare foes are idiots who will stop at nothing to take the law down. At issue this time are some of the revenue-raising aspects of the law. The Huffington Post reports that The Pacific Legal Foundation says that, since the ACA originated in the Senate, and not the House, the taxes within it are unconstitutional.
Several lower courts have rejected this claim, including a unanimous ruling from an appeals court in Washington, D.C., which says that the law is constitutional because its aim is not to raise revenue. Its aim is to expand health insurance opportunities for Americans. Therefore, it’s not a tax law, and the Origination Clause of the Constitution does not apply.
The Pacific Legal Foundation seems to have built its case on the Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling that the individual mandate amounts to a tax, and is therefore legal. Their main question now is whether the federal government followed Constitutional procedures on origination for tax increases. They contend that this is an important question the Supreme Court must answer.
We’re starting to get to a point where we have to ask whether it actually furthers the interests of the American people to keep suing the federal government over every little aspect of the ACA they don’t like. We’ve heard case after case after case attempting to get the Supreme Court to strike the law down and more often than not, they’ve upheld the law.
People sued over the contraception mandate, which was struck down. They sued over whether the subsidies were legal in states that didn’t create their own exchanges, because the specific language of the bill states that subsidies apply to the state-based exchanges. Those were upheld. They sued over the individual mandate, which was upheld. Now, they’re suing over the process used to get the ACA passed into law. When is it going to stop?
This particular suit is on behalf of a small business owner. However, Texas, Kansas and Louisiana have their own suit over a fee imposed on health insurers, claiming that the fee is unconstitutional. According to The Hill, these states contend that insurers are passing the fee onto them, and if they fail to pay it, they could lose their federal Medicaid funding. That amounts to illegal coercion, they say.
The Hill says that the White House has called for a stop to the endless lawsuits against the ACA. We can’t disagree with this call, because it’s absolutely ridiculous. The law passed, and conservatives were mad, so they sued. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law, which made them angrier, so they started nitpicking it, hoping to find a way to take it down.
One health law expert says that the suit over the insurer fees is pretty weak. HuffPo reports that another health law expert believes the Supreme Court will decline the suit over whether the ACA is a revenue-raising bill. Whatever happens, this parade of lawsuits is old and tired. Here’s hoping that the Supreme Court allows lower court rulings to stand.