WASHINGTON — A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit hears a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “ObamaCare”) this Friday morning, in a lawsuit led by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. This is the first hearing by a U.S. Court of Appeals on the unconstitutionality of the law in 2014, less than two weeks after it went into effect.
AAPS challenges ObamaCare based on its violation of the Origination Clause and the Fifth Amendment protection of private property against “takings” by the government.
ObamaCare violates Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution because ObamaCare is a tax that originated in the Senate, when the Constitution requires that all revenue-raising bills originate only in the House of Representatives. The Supreme Court has not yet addressed this issue. The High Court’s ruling in the summer of 2012 left open the real possibility that this law, with its costly new mandates to force individuals to purchase ObamaCare-compliant insurance, is unconstitutional on grounds not raised in that prior litigation.
“If the Constitution means anything, it means that the U.S. Senate may not initiate tax increases,” observes Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of AAPS. “Yet that is precisely what ObamaCare is: a tax increase initiated by the Senate, in violation of the Origination Clause.”
The Obama Administration has repeatedly sought to avoid resolution of this issue by any court of law. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit did not address how ObamaCare is defective under the Origination Clause in its dismissal of a lawsuit brought by Liberty University.
But now ObamaCare is causing real harm to millions of Americans. The tax increases have already begun, and insurance companies have already cancelled millions of policies for ordinary Americans, leaving them stranded without insurance.
The Obama Administration should recognize the unconstitutionality of the law, and suspend its enforcement until its defects are addressed by Congress. Instead, President Obama has been acting as a super-legislature and changing the law without the approval of Congress. The patches that the Obama Administration applies to plug holes in the law merely illustrate how badly broken it is. The executive branch does not have authority to replace the legislative authority of Congress in trying to board people onto a train wreck.
In this morning’s hearing, the Obama Administration, through the Department of Justice, is expected to urge the Court not to address the Origination Clause defect in ObamaCare.
If the Obama Administration truly believes that ObamaCare is constitutional, why does it want to avoid the issue rather than see resolved, asks AAPS.