RE: Florida v. HHS – What To Expect Today
TODAY’S ISSUE: The applicability of the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) as it relates to the individual mandate.
BACKGROUND: The Anti-Injunction Act bars challenges to taxes before they have actually been assessed, but allows challenges to fines and penalties. Neither side believes that the AIA bars the challenge to the individual mandate. Because the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a separate challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on this ground, the Supreme Court appointed amicus curiae specifically to argue that the AIA does bar the current challenge.
OUR POSITION: The penalty associated with mandate is a penalty, not a tax, with the purpose of effecting behavior rather than raising revenue. As such, the AIA does not bar challenge to the individual mandate. Furthermore, the individual mandate imposes a substantive legal requirement separate from the tax penalty, and is therefore reviewable no matter how the Court rules on the AIA.
For real-time analysis of the Florida v. HHS argument, please visit www.PPACAction.com.
This mandate affects every American.
As SCOTUS weighs the fate of our healthcare freedoms, 43% of doctors have said they are considering retiring within the next five (5) years BECAUSE of PPACA. If it is found to be constitutional, the government will be instructing us where, when, how much and why. Your body, your choice will cease to exist.
PPACA will mandate almost 50% of Americans pay for 100% of the healthcare.
PPACA will have unaccountable government bureaucrats make the decisions that were once between you and your doctor.
PPACA will force millions to lose their current employer healthcare, despite President Obama stressing repeatedly to the public that this would never happen.
PPACA will make YOU responsible for my healthcare. Not me. YOU!
PPACA will put us all at the mercy the government for our health decisions.
There are a plethora of facts proving the negative impact of PPACA against American citizens. They even come from President Obama. Check out this video from American Crossroads on the individual mandate and President Obama now vs Presidential candidate Obama during his 2008 campaign:
Many of my fellow Smart Girls are joining other protesters against Obamacare in front of SCOTUS during the proceedings over the next few days. If you could be at SCOTUS to stand up for your healthcare freedoms, would you?
|Freedom AGAINST Obamacare 3-26-2012|
Even former Governor of Vermont and Democratic Presidential candidate Howard Dean believes SCOTUS will find and declare the individual healthcare mandate unconstitutional. I pray he’s right.
Does this flowchart look like freedom?!
Do you think SCOTUS should rule PPACA unconstitutional?
For real time analysis, don’t forget to please visit www.PPACAction.com.
FINAL ANALYSIS from TPPF:
RE: Florida v. HHS – The Final Analysis
1) Whether the Anti-Injunction Act (which limits the ability to bring a legal challenges to taxes) barred consideration of the challenge to the individual mandate.
2) Whether the individual mandate itself was unconstitutional.
3) Whether the individual mandate to purchase health insurance is severable from the remainder of the law.
4) Whether the Medicaid expansion provisions amount to coercion of state funding by the federal government.
KEY POINTS FROM THE ARGUMENT: Most of the justices expressed skepticism about the argument that the challenge to the individual mandate is barred by the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) as a tax. As Justice Ginsburg noted, “This is not a revenue-raising measure, because, if it’s successful, they won’t – nobody will pay the penalty and there will be no revenue to raise.” Justice Breyer agreed: “They called it a penalty and not a tax for a reason.”
OUR ANALYSIS: It is highly unlikely that the Supreme Court will put off consideration of the individual mandate based on the AIA.
KEY POINTS FROM THE ARGUMENT: Several of the justices expressed skepticism about the propriety of the mandate. Justice Kennedy stated that the mandate “changes the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in the very fundamental way.” Justice Scalia said that a law which violates the principle of limited powers cannot be “proper” within the meaning of the Necessary and Proper Clause. Justices Roberts and Alito also seemed deeply troubled by the government’s inability to articulate a limiting principle for the federal commerce power. The subsequent arguments on severability reinforced the idea that the mandate is in trouble, with several of the liberal justices seemed concerned to salvage as much as they could of the rest of the law.
OUR ANALYSIS: The federal government was unable to answer the obvious question: if the federal government can require people to purchase health insurance, what can’t it do? The federal government could not articulate a limiting principle. The Court’s ultimate ruling will hopefully give further clarity to the Constitution’s limits on the federal commerce power, particularly by confining the “substantial effects” doctrine to the Necessary and Proper Clause.
KEY POINTS FROM THE ARGUMENT: While some justices seemed inclined to uphold the remainder of the law, others appeared open to striking the whole law down or to selectively invalidating parts of the law while leaving other provisions untouched. Justice Scalia: “My approach would say if you take the heart out of the statute, the statute’s gone.” Justice Ginsburg: “[I]t’s a choice between a wrecking operation, which is what you are requesting, or a salvage job. And the more conservative approach would be salvage rather than throwing out everything.”
OUR ANALYSIS: If the Court does invalidate the individual mandate, it is likely that the Court will also invalidate the Community Rating and Guaranteed Issue provisions of the law, if not all of Titles I and II. This is important, as without a mandate Community Rating and Guaranteed Issue will cause an “adverse selection spiral” where more and more people drop health insurance as the price of premiums rise.
KEY POINTS FROM THE ARGUMENT: The law’s challengers received their toughest questions on the Medicaid provision. One quote from Justice Roberts provided a good summary of the states’ current predicament: “[I]sn’t [this] a consequence of how willing [states] have been since the New Deal to take the Federal government’s money? And it seems to me that they have compromised their status as independent sovereigns because they are so dependent on what the Federal government has done, they should not be surprised that the Federal government having attached the – they tied the strings, they shouldn’t be surprised if the Federal government isn’t going to start pulling them.”
OUR ANALYSIS: As Justice Kennedy noted at during the argument, conditional federal grants break down the accountability that is necessary to our democratic system. For democracy to function properly, legislators must be responsive to local preferences and the federal government must be accountable for its own policies. If the Supreme Court does not fashion real restraints on the ability of the federal government to impose conditional grants on the states, action to restore state sovereignty will have to come from states themselves learning to resist the temptation that federal funds pose.