Group Says ACA Individual Mandate Tax is Illegal Because it Was Introduced in ‘Wrong’ House of Congress

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Nov 15, 2015 12:00 PM
Group Says ACA Individual Mandate Tax is Illegal Because it Was Introduced in ‘Wrong’ House of Congress

The Constitution’s Origination Clause requires that any tax-raising bill needs to be introduced in the House of Representatives. It is this text that gives the Pacific Legal Foundation a justifiable case against Obamacare’s individual mandate tax on Americans that don’t purchase health insurance, which was introduced in the Senate. In Sissel v.U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, PLF is representing Iowa small business owner and former Iraq combat medic Matt Sissel to challenge the constitutionality of the tax.

From an appeal PLF filed in October:

“The Origination Clause [in Article I] was designed to ensure as much democratic control as possible over the taxing power, by vesting that power in a House of Representatives elected biennially by the people. The [Circuit Court’s] new test allows the Senate to circumvent that constitutional mandate merely by asserting that a tax the Senate originates is meant to serve some larger goal, or by embedding that tax in an omnibus bill that serves a variety of different goals….This upsets the longstanding balance of power between the House and the Senate…and endangers the liberty secured by the Constitution’s procedural requirements.”

Sissel said he is determined to not let this health care law circumvent our basic rights:

“I’m in this case to defend freedom and the Constitution,” said Sissel. “I strongly believe that I should be free — and all Americans should be free — to decide how to provide for our medical needs, and not be forced to purchase a federally dictated health care plan. I’m very concerned about Congress ignoring the constitutional roadmap for enacting taxes, because those procedures are there for a purpose — to protect our freedom.”

This is hardly the first time law-abiding Americans have tried to drag the Obama administration to court over the Affordable Care Act. Last year, Christian-owned businesses cried foul over the HHS' birth control mandate that forced them to violate their consciences and provide employees with abortifacients. The Court ruled in favor of religious freedom. Now, religious non-profits are hoping for the same outcome. 

It's not just churchgoing Americans upset with the law. A new Gallup poll reveals that a majority of the general electorate, 52 percent, disapprove of the ACA.

Should the Court agree with PLF, the constitutionality of Obamacare's individual mandate will again be in question. Of course, we wouldn't even be having this discussion if John Roberts had voted the other way