The Supreme Court's ruling in Obamacare v. the United States of America is yet another body blow to the U.S. Constitution's principle of limited government and the freedom tradition, but there is a major upside.
Despite President Obama's opposition to an individual mandate when he was debating Hillary Clinton during the Democratic presidential primaries and despite his postelection insistence that Obamacare's mandate does not constitute a tax, his lawyers insisted otherwise, and the Supreme Court bought it. So we have a law with enormous reach -- one-seventh to one-sixth of the economy -- having been fundamentally misrepresented to the American people from the beginning.
Conservatives who believe that the Constitution should be interpreted according to the plain meaning of its language and the original intent of the Framers have long been troubled by the court's decisions expanding the commerce clause to authorize Congress to regulate the most local of matters within a state's borders.
Many legal analysts were predicting the court would declare the mandate unconstitutional because it goes further than all other previous cases in forcing Americans to purchase a commodity. Surely, they reasoned, the court would not go that far.
Well, as it turns out, the court didn't have to. It simply chose to consider the mandate a tax rather than a fine or penalty and held that the court has ample authority under the general welfare clause to impose a tax. Voila, problem solved.
There is little to be gained at this point in crying over spilled judicial milk. That chapter, on this essential issue, is closed for now. But the substantive issues -- the questions of the wisdom of the law itself and the people's opinion about it -- are very much alive, especially considering that we have our national elections in November.
It is not an overstatement to say that Obamacare was the single most important catalyst leading to the tea party movement. Americans were outraged and horrified by this president's reckless spending and his endless assaults on the Constitution, but no issue drove them to rise up and fight back like Obamacare -- both the abominable legislative monstrosity itself and the tyrannical, corrupt manner by which Obama crammed it through the legislative process.
Americans oppose Obamacare because they understand that it is inconsistent with our liberties and our idea of limited government and that it will destroy the best health care system in the world.