May 5, 2014

ObamaCare Back to Court

This time concerning the Origination Clause.

George Will: “What will be argued on Thursday [in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals] is that what was voted on – the ACA – was indisputably a revenue measure and unquestionably did not originate in the House, which later passed the ACA on another party-line vote. … In October 2009, the House passed a bill that would have modified a tax credit for members of the armed forces and some other federal employees who were first-time home buyers – a bill that had *nothing to do with health care. Two months later the Senate ‘amended’ this bill by obliterating it. The Senate renamed it and completely erased its contents, replacing them with the ACA’s contents. Case law establishes that for a Senate action to qualify as a genuine ‘amendment’ to a House-passed revenue bill, it must be ‘germane to the subject matter of the [House] bill.’ The Senate’s shell game … created the ACA from scratch. The ACA obviously flunks the germaneness test, without which the House’s constitutional power of originating revenue bills would be nullified. … Two years ago, the Supreme Court saved the ACA by declaring its penalty to be a tax. It thereby doomed the ACA as an unconstitutional violation of the Origination Clause.”

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