Under the constitution, all new tax law must originate in the house.
To prevent the enforcement of the Affordable Care Act in Texas, Dr. Steve Hotze, a Houston physician announced he is suing the federal government, claiming the ACA violates federal tax law as written.
The suit claims that ObamaCare radically hikes small-business costs, impoverishes states and violates the plain language of the U.S. Constitution.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Houston, Texas. The case is Hotze v. Sebelius, 4:13-cv-1318, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston).
Although the Supreme Court ruled the bill to be Constitutional, the majority opinion offered new hope for the majority of Americans who want it repealed. Some background:
In June of 2012 The Supreme Court upheld most of the bill commonly known as “ObamaCare” as being Constitutional, but Justice John Roberts, writing the majority opinion went out of his way to say that the program was in fact a tax and not the Supreme Court’s business.
Everyone across the spectrum reacted emotionally to the ruling. Liberals cheering their unlikely Supreme Court hero, and frustrated conservatives, who thought ObamaCare was on the way out derided the Justice -- some even labeling Roberts a “traitor,” and a “coward.”
But the opinion has opened the door to another Constitutional challenge, which will also highlight the way the bill was rammed through Congress. At the time, Nancy Pelosi (not that she read it) was not treating it like a tax and since ObamaCare did not originate in the House. Justice Roberts defining the bill as a tax meant he was throwing it back into the water for a do-over. In a nutshell, to correctly challenge the law, it must be challenged as the tax that it now is.
Was Roberts more concerned with protecting Americans from Big Government interpretations of the Commerce Clause? Was he giving a wink and a nod to the States that they need to be protected from that same ever-growing, and overreaching federal government? In any event, Justice Roberts wrote the Supreme Court ruling, talked a gaggle of liberal justices into signing onto it, and made the whole thing look non-partisan in the process.
Roberts refused to legislate from the bench. He threw the matter back to the legislature that is responsible for empowering legislation. Roberts knew Obamacare was unconstitutional as a tax, but not as it was brought before the Court at the time. He cleverly set the stage for a successful appeal.
And it’s here, thanks to Dr. Steve Hotze
“What we were promised was a new health care policy and change that could be good for all Americans,” Hotze said at the state Capitol, surrounded by Republican legislators. “Really, all it’s turned out to offer us is higher premiums, higher taxes and a government that will allow its bureaucrats to interfere with the doctor-patient relationship.”
His lawsuit offers two constitutional challenges: First, the Affordable Care Act is in clear violation of the rule requiring tax-bills to originate in the House. The original bill if you can believe it, was a tax credit bill for veterans. Secondly, ObamaCare is in violation of the Fifth Amendment by compelling the purchase of health coverage.
It is forcing individuals and businesses to purchase a consumer product -- in this case, health insurance.
Hotze’s lawsuit claims that by forcing Americans to buy private insurance, Obamacare violates the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause, which holds that private property can only be taken for a “public use” and with just compensation for the property owner.
The suit also claims that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional because revenue-raising laws and taxes must originate in the House of Representatives. In the 5-4 decision upholding Obamacare, Chief Justice John Roberts ruled that the law’s penalty on the uninsured is a tax.
"It is imperative that Texas challenge this unwarranted federal overreach and ensure that Texans maintain the most innovative and economically viable health care system in the country," he wrote in a statement.