Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution declares that all bills pertaining to taxation must originate in the House of Representatives. So, technically speaking, the bill was unconstitutional from day one, if only procedurally. We also know that our Constitution does not allow for the penalizing of citizens for not buying a product, which is a major provision of the ACA.
The IRS released their implementation guide for the ACA (found here: www.irs.gov/PUP/newsroom/REG-148500-12%20FR.pdf). The IRS describes the minimum required coverage for a family of four (man, wife, two children) as being annual insurance premium of over $20,000. That’s 45 percent of the average American family household income. Clearly most everyone will be forced onto Medicaid or will have to go without health care coverage until the time of an emergency.
This will cost Hoosiers billions a year in increased medical expenses or, worse, a lack of availability of services. These costs far outweigh any court costs that Long envisions incurring in defense of the nullification act. Nullification could cause enough delay in implementation to get us to another presidential election, where we may be lucky enough to have a president who would sign a full repeal of the ACA.
In a display of either madness or twisted irony, Long announced, via Twitter, that on Feb. 19 the Indiana Senate was going to entertain his call for a U.S. Constitutional Convention for the reason of limiting federal government taxation powers and the definition of the commerce clause. While most would agree (myself included), that the federal government has well breached its constitutional limits, making changes to the Constitution will not fix that.
The Ninth and 10th Amendments declare the sovereignty of the people and the states already. If the Senate was to go forward with this call and the required two-thirds of states echoed this request, it would give us an opportunity to allow California, Illinois, New York and Massachusetts to dictate to us what rights we have left.
I say no thanks. There has never been an Article V Constitutional Convention in our history. Having one in this political environment (remember President Obama was just re-elected) is inviting trouble. I can see us losing more precious liberty than gaining under this stunt. My guess is that Long doesn’t really think this will lead to anything, but it’s a very dangerous bluff.
We have a good Constitution, but it’s only as good as our willingness to uphold it. This is why it is imperative to elect representatives at all levels who cling to the Constitution at the federal and state level.