WASHINGTON, November 18, 2013 — The Obamacare debacle and the president’s attempts to fix it have created yet another notable episode in our political history. This one will long live in infamy.
The federal government has been directed by President Obama to ignore the Constitution, to which the president and members of Congress have sworn an oath. Obama has unilaterally delayed implementation of the provisions of Obamacare that have shattered his frequently repeated “If you like your insurance, you can keep it” promise.
The one-year delay is not really the issue here. The more fundamental issue is that American Citizens have meekly and timidly accepted a blasphemy against our constitutional freedoms.
Congress is responsible for creating laws. The president’s responsibility is to enforce them. Their responsibilities in this don’t overlap. This division of powers is designed to keep any one branch of government from becoming too powerful, and it is being ignored.
The individual mandate that forces everyone to have health insurance was challenged up to the Supreme Court. The court ruled that the law overreached as an exercise of the Constitution’s commerce clause. It could, however, qualify as a tax.
Yet the bill didn’t follow the constitutional requirement that new tax bills originated in the U.S. House. The Affordable Care Act originated in the president-friendly Senate. The administration sold the ACA from its inception as “not a tax.”
To treat it as a tax is in direct opposition to the U.S. Consitution, but this is simply glossed over as insignificant, invalid.
That is, our Constitution — and implicitly America — is treated as insignificant.
Within the law, extensive powers were given to administrative agencies to add new, significant legislative content, even though citizens have no control over the unelected bureaucrats who craft these regulations.
A new independent agency, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, has power to write laws controling Medicare reimbursement rates. These regulations might just as well have been passed down as edicts from Caesar or Napoleon.
Obama promulgated, by executive order, further delays and changes in implementing the law. This was not a lawful modification of a law passed by Congress, not a simple judgment call on how to faithfully execute the law. Rather, it was an order to the government to not enforce the law. This effectively negates the Constitution’s careful division of government powers.
Is this a constitutionally permitted trespass? No, but hardly anyone seems to care. Too many citizens either feel it was legal or are too busy with matters more entertaining than their rights.
Protections of rights that were so carefully crafted by our Founders have simply been booted aside by elected officials, again dis-honoring their oath of office and their duty to their constituents.
We can cry shame on elected officials, but shame on us for letting them get away with it. But shame is not the worst consequence. The real tragedy is that it takes us away from civilization back toward the lawless jungle, where the most powerful and arrogant need only growl to force their way. Our nation is falling from the Rule of Law, ruled instead by the whims of an arrogant executive.
We can fix this only when Americans understand the wisdom and morality embodied in our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. Knowledge alone will empower Americans to take their rightful role as masters of a government that rules only with “the consent of the governed”.
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