Hultgren Applauds Supreme Court Decision to Hear Case on Obamacare

From the office of Rep. Randy Hultgren (R, Illinois 14th District)…

Hultgren Raises Concerns Regarding Justice Kagan’s Impartiality

Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today applauded the Supreme Court’s decision to review and rule on a number of constitutional challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Specifically, the Supreme Court will focus on whether Congress has the power to force individuals to purchase health insurance, as well as whether Congress overstepped its authority by coercing states to comply with the law by threatening to withhold Medicare funding.

“I applaud that the Supreme Court has chosen to grant a writ of certiorari and hear these cases on the constitutionality of provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” said Hultgren. “From day one we’ve seen this health care law unravel – from the waivers granted to corporations, businesses, and unions, to the repeal of the onerous ‘1099 Provision’ and the failure of the CLASS Act.

“In regards to the individual mandate, it is the most unprecedented and offensive overreach of federal authority in recent history, literally forcing Americans to purchase a product under the auspices of reducing costs and improving accessibility to health care.

“Simply put, the law failed to do what it claimed to accomplish: reduce the cost of health care. Since its passage, we have seen health care costs skyrocket; moreover, the uncertainty stemming from the law has crippled our small business community.”

“Only 18 months after its passage, the new health care law has been brought to the steps of the Supreme Court by America’s small business owners. For the small business community, this comes not a day too soon,” said Dan Danner, President & CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business. “The health care law has not lived up to its promises of reducing costs, allowing citizens to keep their coverage or improving a cumbersome system that has long been a burden to small business owners and employees, alike. The small business community can now have hope; their voices are going to be heard in the nation’s highest court.”

Additionally, Congressman Hultgren has voiced concerns regarding Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s capacity to render an impartial decision on this and all other cases related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In June, Congressman Hultgren joined other House Republicans in asking the House Judiciary Committee to investigate the extent to which Justice Kagan was involved in preparing a legal defense of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act during her tenure as Solicitor General.

In the letter, it is noted that according to law, a justice should recuse themselves in cases “where he has served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, adviser or material witness concerning the proceedings or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy.”

Click here to read the full letter.


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  • The only way the healthcare mandate has a chance of being held to be constitutional is if one of the conservative Justices is forced out (i.e. Thomas) and a liberal Justice is not (i.e. Kegan). If decided strictly by precedence, it will not be constitutional.

    The government will argue the 1942 case of Wickard v. Filburn, because this case draws the current line stipulating the extent of the upper limit of the Commerce Clause’s power (The Feds could tell how much wheat a farmer could grow on his own farm for his own consumption because in the aggregate it affected interstate commerce). The opponents of the law will argue Lopez (1995) and the Morrison (2000) cases (by the way, the “experts” were wrong on these cases prior to the decisions). These cases also draw lines for the extent of the power of the Feds. In these cases, the Court said that there is a limit to the Commerce Clause and that police powers (a term used in law to refer to the health, safety, and welfare of the people) are reserved to the states. To force an individual to purchase a product from a private company far exceeds any lines the Court has ever drawn. However, unlike the Lopez and Morrison cases, the current issue does involve a commercial transaction.

    Most people (including many lawyers), do not understand federalism. Under federalism (Amendment X), the federal government only has the power enumerated by the Constitution. All of the remaining power is reserved to the states. This is why it is constitutional for states to mandate individuals to buy insurance.

    This situation is not analogous to mandating car insurance. First, auto insurance is mandated by the states, not the federal government (remember federalism), and second, no one is forced to buy car insurance. An individual is free to choose to buy car insurance as a condition of the privilege of driving a car in civilized society. For the current health insurance mandate, everyone has no choice other than to buy health insurance.

    With all of this being said, nonetheless, the Court will decide along ideological lines and the decision on the mandate will be 5 to 4, not constitutional. This case was decided years ago by the elections of the past that gave us presidents who chose the current Justices.

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