The following is a guest post from Family Council staff member Christa Adams.
The Supreme Court has now identified a way the federal government can dictate what individuals buy, all under the guise of a “tax.”
The ruling on President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires Americans to purchase health insurance. President Obama said in his response, “If you’re one of the 30 million Americans who don’t yet have health insurance, starting in 2014 this law will offer you an array of quality, affordable, private health insurance plans to choose from.” His choice of language sounds beautiful, but in reality he is saying, “In 2014 whether you want it or not you must choose a health insurance plan or you will be penalized on your taxes.”
This has given Congress a new power. They may now require Americans to purchase something through a “tax.” Chief Justice Robert’s statements say that this power to tax by requiring purchase of something is specific only to healthcare because, “health insurance is not purchased for its own sake like a car or broccoli; it is a means of financing health-care consumption and covering universal risks.” The dissent, however, wisely states that “cars and broccoli are no more purchased for their ‘own sake’ than health insurance. They are purchased to cover the need for transportation and food.”
I will never forget what I learned in high school politics. My teacher pointed out that people, including our Congressmen, love power. He said that governments do not seek to shrink their power, but rather are constantly expanding it. The Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government has more power than ever to dictate our individual lives. The dissenting opinion actually observes this fact. It reads, “Nearly two centuries ago, Chief Justice Marshall observed that ‘the question respecting the extent of the powers actually granted’ to the Federal Government “is perpetually arising, and will probably continue to arise, as long as our system shall exist.”
We must open our eyes and realize that this ruling is about much more than health insurance. This ruling has drastically changed the influence of government in our daily lives. Today the government may be requiring we buy health insurance. Tomorrow, though, they may require we purchase other products deemed necessary to cover a “universal risk.”