Tags: Barack Obama | Healthcare Reform | Supreme Court | ACA | Constitution | Judiciary | Origination

Fresh Light on Obamacare Could Spark Renewed Court Challenge

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Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016 08:28 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Today the chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Rep. Trent Franks, will preside over a hearing titled “The Original Meaning of the Origination Clause.”

Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether or not to take a case that challenges the entire Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, as having unconstitutionally originated in the U.S. Senate.

The Origination Clause provides that: “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” Obamacare is projected to increase taxes by “nearly $800 billion over 10 years.”

The Senate sponsor of what we know as Obamacare, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, still has posted his Nov. 18, 2009, press release announcing, “Reid Unveils Senate Health Care Bill.”

Six years later, the Justice Department is arguing to the Supreme Court that, “The bill that became the Affordable Care Act originated as H.R. 3590, a tax measure passed by the House of Representatives in October 2009 . . . In December 2009, the Senate amended the House-passed bill by striking the text after the enacting clause and substituting the text of the Affordable Care Act.”

Coincidentally, at about the same time in December 2009 when the Justice Department now claims that the “the Senate amended the House-passed bill,” Reid posted a second press release titled, “Reid Unveils Final Senate Health Care Bill.”

How long will the American people put up with this fraudulent charade? Obamacare obviously and admittedly originated in the Senate as Reid’s “Senate Health Care Bill.”

For the Justice Department to argue now that “The bill that became the Affordable Care Act originated as H.R. 3590, a tax measure passed by the House of Representatives in October 2009,” is a fraud, pure and simple. All the pretending that it was an “amendment” to a House bill would be laughable if the Justice Department had not already persuaded a number of federal judges that Obamacare did originate as a Senate amendment and not as the “Senate Health Care Bill.”

There are now two Origination Clause challenges to Obamacare pending before the U.S. Supreme Court: Sissel v. HHS from the D.C. Circuit; and Hotze v. Burwell from the 5th Circuit.

The Justice Department is arguing that the Supreme Court should not take these cases because “no [Origination Clause] objection was raised by any Senator or Representative at any point during the lengthy and vigorous congressional debates over the Affordable Care Act.”

Excuse me? Can the American People ever forget the infamous words of then Speaker Nancy Pelosi during that “debate”? On March 9, 2010, Speaker Pelosi announced in a now Web-posted YouTube video, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."

Twelve days later, the House minority leader at the time, John Boehner, voiced the following objections on the floor of the House of Representatives:

“Today, this body, this institution, enshrined in the first article of the Constitution by our Founding Fathers as a sign of the importance they placed on this House, should be looking with pride on this legislation and our work. But it is not so. No, today we're standing here looking at a health care bill that no one in this body believes is satisfactory. Today we stand here amidst the wreckage of what was once the respect and honor that this House was held in by our fellow citizens. And we all know why it is so. We have failed to listen to America. And we have failed to reflect the will of our constituents. And when we fail to reflect that will, we fail ourselves, and we fail our country . . .

“And look at how this bill was written. Can you say it was done openly, with transparency and accountability? Without backroom deals and struck behind closed doors hidden from the people? Hell, no, you can't . . . My colleagues, this is the people's House.”


Accordingly, it is at best misleading for the Justice Department now to argue that, “no such objection was raised by any Senator or Representative at any point during the lengthy and vigorous congressional debates over the Affordable Care Act,” referring to more formal ways for objecting to Senate-originated “Bills for raising revenue.”

House Judiciary Subcommittee Chairman Trent Franks is doing the American People a great service today by shedding light on “The Original Meaning of the Origination Clause.”

The Supreme Court would likewise do the American People a great service by cutting through the Justice Department’s fraudulent legal arguments, agreeing to hear one or both of the pending Origination Clause challenges, and shedding light on the unconstitutional Senate origins of the Affordable Care Act.

Joseph E. Schmitz served as inspector general of the Dept. of Defense from 2002-2005 and is a Partner in the law firm of Schmitz & Socarras LLP. Read more reports from Joseph E. Schmitz — Click Here Now.







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The Supreme Court would do the American People a great service by cutting through the Justice Department’s fraudulent legal arguments, agreeing to hear one or both of the pending Origination Clause challenges, shedding light on the unconstitutional Senate origins of the ACA.
ACA, Constitution, Judiciary, Origination
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2016-28-13
Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016 08:28 AM
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