FOUNDATION: AFFORDABLE CARE ACT UNCONSTITUTIONAL
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MONTGOMERY: The Foundation for Moral Law, an Alabama nonprofit corporation dedicated to the strict interpretation of the Constitution as intended by its Framers, filed an amicus brief with the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Thursday arguing that the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”) is unconstitutional.
In NFIB v. Sebelius in 2012, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the ACA was a tax because of its individual health care mandate and penalty and was therefore authorized by the Taxing and Spending Clause of Article I, § 8 of the Constitution. But President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 eliminated the individual mandate and penalty. In December 2018 a Federal District Court Judge in Texas ruled that because the individual mandate and penalty had been repealed, the ACA was no longer a tax and is therefore unconstitutional. The case has been appealed to the Fifth Circuit.
Foundation President Kayla Moore stated the Foundation’s position: “The Constitution delegates only certain powers to the federal government and reserves all others to the states or to the people. Nothing in the Constitution authorizes Congress to regulate or finance health care; health care is the responsibility of individuals, families, and churches.”
Foundation Senior Counsel John Eidsmoe added: “Either the ACA is a tax or it isn’t. If it is, it was not properly adopted because it originated in the Senate, and Article I, § 7 says all revenue bills must originate in the House. If it is not a tax, it has no authorization under the Taxing and Spending Clause or any other portion of the Constitution.”
The Fifth Circuit is expected to decide the case later this year, after which it will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court.