Mehrens: Courts Must Stop Obamacare’s Taxation Without Representation

President Obama’s socialized medicine law has a big problem on its hands — something much more serious than a botched website or a broken political promise. And while some say it’s nothing more than a “technicality,” the court case over this “glitch” is moving forward even as most of the…

President Obama’s socialized medicine law has a big problem on its hands — something much more serious than a botched website or a broken political promise. And while some say it’s nothing more than a “technicality,” the court case over this “glitch” is moving forward even as most of the mainstream media looks the other way.

“This is for all the marbles,” George Mason University professor Michael S. Greve wrote.

“This has the potential to sink Obamacare,” Cato Institute health policy expert Michael Cannon told The Los Angeles Times.

The case they’re referring to is Halbig v. Sebilius, filed in May by seven plaintiffs (four individuals and three companies) in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. At the heart of this case is a simple question: Does the federal government have the right to tax and spend $700 billion worth of health care subsidies in the thirty-four states which declined to create state-administered health care exchanges under Obamacare?

Under the specific language of the law, tax subsidies (and tax penalties) on individuals and employers only apply in states that created these exchanges. It’s right there in black-and-white — as the availability of subsidies was expressly confined to qualified plans enrolled “through an Exchange established by the State.”

Obamacare makes no mention of these subsidies being provided in federal exchanges.

At the time the law was being drafted this wasn’t seen as a problem. The President and his allies believed the allure of more “free money” from Washington would be sufficient to entice states into doing their bidding. However when it became clear this wasn’t happening, the Internal Revenue Service scrambled to issue a “rule” extending the subsidies to all states.

The rub? This IRS rule explicitly contravenes the language approved by Congress — and signed into law by Obama himself. Not only that — to quote from Halbig — it “(disburses) monies from the Federal Treasury in excess of the authority granted by the Act.”

And at $700 billion, we’re talking about the single largest instance of taxation without representation in human history.

(To continue reading this piece, press the “Read More …” icon below).

Nathan Mehrens is president of Americans for Limited Government.

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Smirks November 25, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Wishful thinking.

Chavez lives! November 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm

It’s only wishful thinking because Obama, Sebelius, et al., will use any means to keep this fireball rolling despite what some consider the extra-constitutionality of it, the deceptions, security issues endangering the well-being of the US population, the costs, and so on. Pitiful.

Thomas November 25, 2013 at 11:07 pm

Thank you, Karl Smirks. Smirksism says the government does not tax the people enough, just look at the government deficit!

anon. November 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Dumb Asses should have read before signing it, eh Nancy?

? November 25, 2013 at 7:57 pm

There’s representation for this tax on the people, it just happens to be the insurance companies, who spent a little extra in buying them.

? November 25, 2013 at 7:58 pm


leech November 25, 2013 at 8:20 pm

I’m sure all those newly minted political hacks wearing black robes will make sure Obamacare remains a persistent maggot on the American flesh…

Jesus H. Christ! November 25, 2013 at 9:31 pm

These plaintiffs are assholes. And so are their lawyers.

idcydm November 25, 2013 at 10:10 pm

That’s the same thing I thought when the White House Lawyers argued to SCOTUS that the penalties for not purchasing health care insurance were really a tax.

EJB November 26, 2013 at 7:12 am

I believe 0bama and his minions actually argued the penalty was not a tax, even before the SCOTUS. It was chief justice Roberts that proclaimed it a tax in giving the ACA constitutional blessing.

idcydm November 26, 2013 at 7:51 am Reply
EJB November 26, 2013 at 10:09 am

In reading the SCOTUS majority opinion I find you are correct. Much of what I had read and heard was that the administration had actually argued it as a penalty. Thank you for the correction.

idcydm November 25, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Obamacare…the talking heads have to go home at night and wonder when the White House give them some talking point that will work and won’t be proven false as soon as they use them.

Jay Ellington November 25, 2013 at 11:57 pm

I could never bring myself to watch the shock horror film Human Centipede, but when I picture people’s mouths sewn to another’s anus I think about this band of worthless human garbage.

Same ol' Same ol' November 26, 2013 at 6:56 am

Yeah, somehow I think this pig ain’t gonna fly. Sure, they may be right, but the political machine will ultimately rip it to shreds. Would be nice for them to win, though, I think.

Compentence Counts November 26, 2013 at 8:47 am

All deficit spending and every federal reserve bail-out is taxation without representation. Inflation is a tax. As such, all capital gains should be discounted by an inflation rate before taxes are imposed. It’s not fair to tax people on the appreciation of property due to a devalued currency.

Jahshuewah Villiam December 16, 2013 at 10:25 pm



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