Obamacare fight is far from over

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This week, no less than 43 congressmen, led by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), filed an amicus brief[1] in support of a constitutional challenge to Obamacare. The case, Hotze v. Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius et al, is before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. It argues that the Origination Clause in the Constitution prohibits the levying of taxes by legislation that originated in the Senate.

Spending and taxation bills are supposed to originate in the House of Representatives, and, as Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts decided in 2012, the Affordable Care Act mandate is one big tax.  The amicus brief argues that because Obamacare originated in the Senate, and it is a tax, the law is unconstitutional.

It remains to be seen if the court will agree that Obamacare violates the very basic principles of Congressional power structure. But the bottom line is one worth making: the debate over the Affordable Care Act is far from over.

And why should it be? We’re met with stories nearly every day of how Obamacare is just causing more headaches than solving problems – for everyone involved. Insurance companies are facing a drastic surge in costs, doctors are confronting a litany of confused patients (and higher costs too), and Americans are either losing coverage, paying higher premiums, or simply unable to enroll.  Even labor unions[2], which have to negotiate with companies for members’ health coverage, are getting their fair share of frustrations.

Just yesterday, National Public Radio profiled[3] a family in Texas who was so fed up with trying to make Obamacare work, that they decided to opt out altogether:

Rachel recalls two days in January when she sat down and called every doctor on the list of 28. According to her, most of the practices told her, in one way or another, that they didn’t take the plan.

“Some would just come right out and say, ‘We don’t take Obamacare,’ ” she says. “Or the best one was, ‘The doctor takes it here at the actual practice, but whatever hospital you use … does not take that insurance.’ “

Until Obamacare is repealed, the battle isn’t over. The Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. The longer it takes for Washington to realize that, the longer Americans will suffer.