By Michael Caution, Columbus
The US Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare as constitutional is a regrettable miscarriage of justice to supporters of freedom and individual liberty.
At stake was whether or not the federal government has the power to force individuals to buy a private commodity, i.e., insurance. But more fundamentally, what was at stake was the deciding of the direction America would follow: capitalism or statism.
With Chief Justice Roberts’s decision to uphold the individual mandate, the centerpiece of Obamacare, the court has essentially stripped the Constitution of any limits on that body’s powers.
Stated succinctly, “the power to tax involves the power to destroy,” Chief Justice John Marshall (McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819). Once understood as a check against tyranny, the Constitution has become a blank cheque on which the government can sign away the life, liberty, and ability to pursue happiness of every free individual.
The outcome of the decision was surprising to many given the skepticism of the law’s validity shown by many of the Justices, including Roberts, during oral arguments. However, we shouldn’t be surprised at all.
A historically legal perspective will show that over 100 years of Supreme Court cases the safeguards protecting individual rights including property and contract rights have slowly been eroded. It is those past legal decisions that have lead America to where it is today.
What Roberts has essentially done is uphold the status quo regarding Congress’ Commerce Clause which enables them to regulate any form of economic activity while, as a consolation, preserving an individual’s economic inactivity. He did America no favours by preserving the law under its taxing powers.
The Roberts decision is a regrettable decision but one that had to happen sooner or later given the anti-capitalist, anti-rights legal precedent over the past 100 years.
With Obamacare set to be fully implemented what can America expect in the future?
As with all forms of socialism we can expect higher taxes, more government spending, an increase in the national debt, and higher inflation over the long-term.
With regards to medicine and health insurance expect an increase in medical costs including drug costs, a decrease in the quality of care, a decrease in medical innovation, rationing, doctor shortages, and yes even “death panels” or as it’s more innocuously known, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).
The reason for such disastrous consequences is the result of treating healthcare as a right. Healthcare is not a right. Rights sanction an individual’s freedom of action. Rights pertain to action not objects. It is impossible to have the right to an object, in this case healthcare, because someone must provide goods or a service. The right to objects means the right to force others to provide that object, meaning the right to enslave. This is obviously contradictory.
The impetus behind the push for Obamacare was that the current healthcare system was not working. But the reasons for its failure were misdiagnosed. It was not the tiny capitalistic elements left of the healthcare market but the government interference and regulations that made up an overwhelming portion of the market that created the problem. Government has interfered in healthcare since WWII. Our oft-touted free market was not free at all.
If we want a healthcare system that provides truly affordable, quality care, Americans need to repeal Obamacare. Then, instead of replacing it with some other statist scheme, we need to repeal every form of rights violating legislation and regulation so that we can finally have a free, capitalist market.
You can read our pro Obamacare post here