Obamacare Catch 22?

Thomas Lifson
When Chief Justice Roberts rendered his bizarre opinion that Obamacare was constitutional because it was a tax (despite what the president himself had claimed), he may have opened a door that leads to a successful future challenge. Andrew McCarthy of National Review Online lays out the case. You see, the problem is that Obamacare originated in the Senate:

It was introduced in Congress in 2009 by Senate majority leader Harry Reid, who called it the "Senate health care bill" (a description still touted long afterwards on Reid's website). Employing the chicanery that marked the legislation through and through, the Democrat-controlled Senate turned its 3,000-page mega-proposal into a Senate amendment. The Senate attached its amendment to a nondescript, uncontroversial House bill (the "Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009") that had unanimously passed (416-0) in the lower chamber.

Thanks to the Supreme Court, it is now undeniable that Obamacare was tax legislation. It was also, by its own proclamation, a bill for raising revenue.

Below the media radar, efforts are underway to challenge the constitutionality of Obamacare on the grounds that it violated the Constitution's Origination Clause (Art. I, Sec. 7), which requires that tax legislation must be introduced in the House:

House conservatives, led by Representative Trent Franks (R., Ariz.), are pushing an Origination Clause challenge in the federal courts. (snip)

Representative Franks has introduced a resolution (H.R. 153) expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Obamacare legislation clearly violated the Origination Clause. The measure is gaining momentum. As it rapidly picks up co-signers, the resolution should materially advance the cases filed against Obamacare, including one to be argued this fall in the D.C. Circuit federal appeals court. After all, if a statute violates the Origination Clause, it is a nullity - invalid from the moment of enactment.

McCarthy correctly urges opponents of Obamacare to not rely on this challenge, as it is far from certain in its success, and the act deserves to be opposed on practical as well as constitutional grounds.

Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has already delivered a shock to the nation in ruling on Obamacare. The possibility exists of a further shock. What the Chief Justice giveth, the Chief Justice may take away. Put the Irony Police on alert.

When Chief Justice Roberts rendered his bizarre opinion that Obamacare was constitutional because it was a tax (despite what the president himself had claimed), he may have opened a door that leads to a successful future challenge. Andrew McCarthy of National Review Online lays out the case. You see, the problem is that Obamacare originated in the Senate:

It was introduced in Congress in 2009 by Senate majority leader Harry Reid, who called it the "Senate health care bill" (a description still touted long afterwards on Reid's website). Employing the chicanery that marked the legislation through and through, the Democrat-controlled Senate turned its 3,000-page mega-proposal into a Senate amendment. The Senate attached its amendment to a nondescript, uncontroversial House bill (the "Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009") that had unanimously passed (416-0) in the lower chamber.

Thanks to the Supreme Court, it is now undeniable that Obamacare was tax legislation. It was also, by its own proclamation, a bill for raising revenue.

Below the media radar, efforts are underway to challenge the constitutionality of Obamacare on the grounds that it violated the Constitution's Origination Clause (Art. I, Sec. 7), which requires that tax legislation must be introduced in the House:

House conservatives, led by Representative Trent Franks (R., Ariz.), are pushing an Origination Clause challenge in the federal courts. (snip)

Representative Franks has introduced a resolution (H.R. 153) expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Obamacare legislation clearly violated the Origination Clause. The measure is gaining momentum. As it rapidly picks up co-signers, the resolution should materially advance the cases filed against Obamacare, including one to be argued this fall in the D.C. Circuit federal appeals court. After all, if a statute violates the Origination Clause, it is a nullity - invalid from the moment of enactment.

McCarthy correctly urges opponents of Obamacare to not rely on this challenge, as it is far from certain in its success, and the act deserves to be opposed on practical as well as constitutional grounds.

Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has already delivered a shock to the nation in ruling on Obamacare. The possibility exists of a further shock. What the Chief Justice giveth, the Chief Justice may take away. Put the Irony Police on alert.