By Mark Rhoads
So far, HHS has approved waivers and exemptions from mandatory Obamacare coverage for 111 companies, groups, and unions that enroll 1,175,111 Americans. The list includes unions such as SEIU that lobbied hard to pass Obamacare. All 535 Members of Congress and their families and staff and many members of the Executive Branch including President Obama and is family and the White House staff are exempt from the individual mandate to purchase a health care policy by 2014. That leaves only another 298 million of us who are not members of a privileged class who must obey the individual mandate unless it is knocked down by The Supreme Court.
We were told during the debate in Congress last spring that Obamacare could not work unless everyone was covered and everyone was forced to participate and purchase a health care policy--even young and healthy people who did not want to buy one. Everyone would be forced to buy in just because they lived in the boundaries of the United States. We were told then this mandate on individual action limiting our freedom of choice was necessary because Obamacare could not work any other way. Of course not. No socialist scheme can work without universal coercion and participation.
President Obama and his allies also told us this individual mandate to buy insurance was not a tax. But now that many state attorneys general have challenged the constitutionality of that individual mandate in the federal courts, the Obama Justice Department has flip flopped 180 degrees and now says the individual mandate is a tax and Congress has the power to impose a tax on all citizens.
But here is the catch. Section 1 of The 14th Amendment to the Constitution says in part "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, of property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
So how to you allow exemptions and special privileges for almost two million Americans who do not not have to participate in Obamacare and reconcile that special treatment with equal protection of law for the other 299 million or more? Now the federal courts have something new to think about.
President Obama also told us over and over again that "no one will be forced to give up their current plan. If you like your present plan you can keep it." That is not true as HHS continues to make regulations to implement Obamacare that have the force of law.
All of these waivers and constitutional problems remind be of the clueless Rep. Phil Hare (D-Illinois) who apparently thinks that Congress can pass any law on any topic and it must be constitutional if Congress passes it. Remember that famous video clip from Hare's losing campaign?
Hare thankfully will not be sitting in Congress after January 3, but the freedom-violating Obamacare remains on the books until it is repealed or struck down by the Federal Courts. Total repeal is the only way to give all Americans a waiver from this obnoxious scheme and President Obama will never sign a bill to repeal his centerpiece nor does Congress have enough votes to override his veto. But they can starve HHS of the money it needs to set up and start implementing Obamacare including the violation of personal medical records and other provisions that invade your personal privacy. The new Congress does not have to fund the data prepartion and all other foundational work to set up Obamacare and that is what many voters expect Republicans to do until January 2013 if there is a new president then.