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Repeal Obamacare by Reenacting the 2016 Repeal Bill Obama Vetoed

Image: Repeal Obamacare by Reenacting the 2016 Repeal Bill Obama Vetoed
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) signs legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and to cut off federal funding of Planned Parenthood during an enrollment ceremony in the Rayburn Room at the U.S. Capitol January 7, 2016, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Wednesday, 05 Jul 2017 03:47 PM Current | Bio | Archive

In early 2016, Congress passed H.R. 3762, a law that would have repealed most of Obamacare. On January 8, 2016, Obama vetoed that would-be Obamacare Repeal Act.

240 years earlier, Congress declared "to a candid World" that, "The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States." Among other usurpations specified in the Declaration of Independence, "He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance."

Our 1776 Declaration of Independence concluded, "We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; . . . And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

In July 2017, Congress should likewise acknowledge the "Swarms of Officers" harassing our good People under the guise of Obamacare, and reenact the 2016 Obamacare Repeal Act.

Note well below the revenue raising nature of the Obamacare repeal sections of H.R. 3762, keeping in mind that Obamacare originated in 2009 as the "Senate Health Care Bill," and the Constitution provides that, "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives" (Art. I, Sec. 7, Cl. 1):

SEC. 204. INDIVIDUAL MANDATE.

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SEC. 205. EMPLOYER MANDATE.

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SEC. 206. FEDERAL PAYMENTS TO STATES.

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SEC. 209. REPEAL OF THE TAX ON EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS AND HEALTH PLAN BENEFITS.

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SEC. 210. REPEAL OF TAX ON OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATIONS.

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SEC. 211. REPEAL OF TAX ON HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS.

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SEC. 212. REPEAL OF LIMITATIONS ON CONTRIBUTIONS TO FLEXIBLE

SPENDING ACCOUNTS.

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SEC. 213. REPEAL OF TAX ON PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS.

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SEC. 214. REPEAL OF MEDICAL DEVICE EXCISE TAX.

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SEC. 215. REPEAL OF HEALTH INSURANCE TAX.

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SEC. 216. REPEAL OF ELIMINATION OF DEDUCTION FOR EXPENSES ALLOCABLE TO MEDICARE PART D SUBSIDY.

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SEC. 217. REPEAL OF CHRONIC CARE TAX.

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SEC. 218. REPEAL OF MEDICARE TAX INCREASE.

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SEC. 219. REPEAL OF TANNING TAX.

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SEC. 220. REPEAL OF NET INVESTMENT TAX.

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The last time a court struck down a revenue-raising bill that originated in the Senate, the court opinion began, "That an unconstitutional statute is not a law at all is a proposition no longer open to discussion," and concluded that the revenue-raising bill as issue "is one of those legislative projects which, in order to be a law, must originate in the lower house" (Hubbard v. Lowe, 226 F. 135, 141 (SDNY 1915)).

In 2012, the Supreme Court sustained the Individual Mandate, but only as a tax, while striking down Obamacare’s State Mandate by a vote of 7-2. Two subsequent Origination Clause challenges to what remained of Obamacare never reached the Supreme Court in part because Justice Antonin Scalia died on February 13, 2016. Supreme Court certiorari requires four votes.

In his January 8, 2016, veto message, then President Obama explained, "I am returning herewith without my approval H.R. 3762, . . . . This legislation would not only repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act, but would reverse the significant progress we have made in improving health care in America. The Affordable Care Act includes a set of fairer rules and stronger consumer protections that have made health care coverage more affordable, more attainable, and more patient centered. And it is working. . . ."

The American voters subsequently disagreed that Obamacare "is working," and they elected President Donald Trump, whose "Contract with the American Voter" pledged to repeal Obamacare "and replaces it with Health Savings Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines and lets states manage Medicaid funds."

On June 27, 2017, Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal titled, "Obamacare’s Victims Need Relief Now." In that op-ed, Secretary Price wrote, "Under Obamacare, insurers are either running for the exit doors or proposing huge premium increases. Americans instead deserve a market where companies clamor to offer competitive plans to as many customers as they can. That is what Congress has the chance to make possible, and it can’t come a day too soon."

It’s time for Congress to reenact the 2016 Obamacare Repeal Act. Whatever else Congress might enact to "replace" Obamacare can wait. The repeal of Obamacare is long overdue, "and it can’t come a day too soon."

Joseph E. Schmitz served as a foreign policy and national security advisor to Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. The opinions expressed in this article are his personal opinions. Schmitz served as Inspector General of the Department of Defense from 2002-2005 and is now a Partner in the law firm Schmitz & Socarras LLP. He graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy, earned his J.D. degree from Stanford Law School, and is author of "The Inspector General Handbook: Fraud, Waste, Abuse, and Other Constitutional ‘Enemies, Foreign and Domestic.’" Read more reports from Joseph E. Schmitz — Click Here Now.

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In early 2016, Congress passed H.R. 3762, a law that would have repealed most of Obamacare. On January 8, 2016, Obama vetoed that would-be Obamacare Repeal Act.
obamacare, repeal, supreme court
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2017-47-05
Wednesday, 05 Jul 2017 03:47 PM
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