The Court Will Not Save Us From Obamacare

Jenny Beth Martin Jenny Beth Martin is co-founder and national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s largest tea party organization, and is also chairman of the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.
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Today’s Supreme Court ruling is another disappointing blow to everyone who cherishes the rule of law, our Constitution, and limited government. The 6-3 decision upholds the IRS’s rule allowing the federal government to provide Obamacare subsidies to people in states that have not set up an Obamacare exchange. Despite the law’s clear text prohibiting federal subsidies in states that have failed to set up their own exchange, the Supreme Court sided with the Obama administration and delivered another big win for Obamacare.

Over the past five years since Obamacare was signed into law, Tea Party Patriots has consistently opposed the law. We have objected to the insidious way it expands the role of the federal government and forever changes the relationship between individuals and the government. The law is an affront to limited government principles, and the most important aspect of the law – the individual mandate – violates individual liberties by forcing people to purchase expensive government-approved health insurance plans.

This case represented conservatives’ final opportunity to gut the law through the High Court. Had the Court decided to adhere to the clear language of the law (rather than to the whims and edicts of the Obama administration), nearly 11 million people across the country would have been saved from the law’s burdensome individual mandate and its associated tax penalties.

The Supreme Court has demonstrated with this ruling, as well as its 2012 decision to uphold the individual mandate, that it is more committed to keeping Obamacare in place than it is to the Constitution or to the rule of law, which would require that the law be implemented as written, not as modified by executive fiat.

The Supreme Court’s ruling ensures that Americans will continue to suffer under the law. But Congress, the branch of government that wrote and passed Obamacare, enjoys its own special exemption from the law. The text of Obamacare clearly states that Congress must participate in an Obamacare exchange. Congress, which suffers from the same inability to follow the law that Obama administration and the Courts suffer from, lied on its application and enrolled in a small business exchange to protect its subsidies. Yes, Congress, with its 20,000 employees, is the nation’s largest “small business.”

The examples of lawlessness surrounding Obamacare are now too numerous to count. All three branches of government have seemingly locked arms to uphold the law, over the loud objections of Americans who have lost their insurance or seen their premiums skyrocket. Obamacare, quite simply, is not working out. But don’t expect Congress, with its exemption, to pay attention.

In Justice Scalia’s wonderfully crafted dissent, he wrote, “Words no longer have meaning” if state exchange can now mean something other than a state exchange. It is certainly true that words have no meaning when Congress can enroll in the small business exchange to shield itself from the impact of the law. Further proving Scalia’s point that words have absolutely no meaning is the Supreme Court interpretation in 2012 that the law’s fines and fees as “taxes.” When it comes to Obamacare, words can mean whatever the federal government wants them to mean.

The ruling today – as disappointing as it is to so many of us – serves as an important reminder that we cannot expect the Supreme Court to save us from this disastrous law. We must continue to work to make Members of Congress live under the law themselves, even as we shift our attention to 2016. The men and women we send to Washington, DC must boldly defend the Constitution and the rule of law and be fully committed to repealing Obamacare.