Why Obamacare is Unconstitutional, and What Conservatives Should Do About It

Published February 10, 2012

Remarks by Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.

After Republicans took over the House of Representatives, one of their first acts was to overwhelmingly pass a bill repealing ObamaCare. A poll taken afterward found that 22% of Americans thought the monstrous law had been repealed and 26% weren’t sure!  That means only 52% of Americans understood that the repeal bill must also pass the Senate and be signed by the president.

Those are jobs that will have to wait until next January! In the meantime, what can we do?

We need to tell everyone that ObamaCare violates the Constitution down to its very DNA. Let’s start with the individual mandate and the federal government telling us that, beginning in 2014, we must spend our personal money on a private product – a health insurance policy that the CBO says will cost $20,000 a year for a family of four.   Is a Chevy Volt mandate next?

And now we see Secretary Sebelius issuing a rule that violates our constitutionally-protected religious liberty. She says employer health plans must cover, at no charge to patients, contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization. President Obama called  Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops  to tell him the good news that Catholic schools, hospitals, and other institutions have a year to figure out how to comply — a year to figure out how to violate the Church’s fundamental teachings about the dignity of human life. He seemed totally surprised by the torrent of criticism from people who think that the Constitutional protection of religious liberty actually MEANS something.

And then there is the unconstitutional Independent Payment Advisory Board – 15 unelected technocrats who will be making decisions about spending hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicare money – a job explicitly delegated by the Constitution to ELECTED Members of Congress.

No one will be safe: The law gives Sec. Sebelius the power more than 1,500 times to order our lives, which she already is doing in many other ways. This law is a centipede, and there are endless shoes still to drop, crushing our liberty. And its massive spending on huge new entitlement subsidies will overwhelm any efforts to control our deficit and debt.

Before this controversy over religious liberty erupted, the White House had adopted a Strategy of Silence about ObamaCare. After the 2010 elections, the White House finally figured out that the American people despise this law. So the president had basically stopped talking about it – except for a few small things like putting 26 year old “children” on their parent’s insurance, and this “free” preventive care. They want people to wonder what the fuss was all about if ObamaCare was just a “few small things.” Meanwhile, this freight train is headed straight at us, gaining steam to collide with our economy and our freedom in 2014.

But President Obama knows that the only thing he has to do is get reelected, and the it will be almost impossible to repeal this law.

During the campaign, you can be sure he won’t tell you about its $500 billion in cuts to Medicare and the Medicare rationing board – the most radical and drastic changes ever made to Medicare. He won’t talk about its half a trillion dollars in taxes, the job-killing employer mandate, mandates to the states that trample the 10th amendment, and, of course, the freedom-killing individual mandate. It’s up to US to tell the American people the full truth.

So what’s next?  The Supreme Court will hear an unprecedented 5½ hours of arguments over three days — March 26th through 28th,  and it will issue its decision most likely in late June.

Whatever happens, we have our work cut out for us. If the Court declares just the individual mandate unconstitutional – a 50-50 proposition – then 90 percent of the law will still stand. Then our job is to tell the American people what’s left.  For the sake of our liberty, we must take down the rest of it.

Former Attorney General Ed Meese — attorney general under President Reagan — said recently that the Supreme Court decision about ObamaCare is the most important decision in 100 years.  It truly will determine whether we remain free citizens or whether we become subjects of an all-powerful government that has life and death control over us. I repeat:  We will be subjects, no longer free citizens.  If the Supreme Court upholds the law, then we must head for the ballot box in November to stop it.  It’s our last defense.

This is the battle for liberty in our time, and we are the army. We must to defend the Constitution and our Freedom against this unconstitutional, freedom-robbing intruder.