ALL Supreme Court Decision discussion HERE – POLL OPEN


It seems that, in some convoluted way, Obamacare was somewhat upheld by the Supreme Court.

That means that the law under which the the Obama Administration’s “HHS mandate” is still a threat to our religious liberty.


Here is a place to discuss the Supreme Court decision.

Rules of civility apply. Really.

If you are speaking to someone or responding, as always put that person’s name/handle as the FIRST thing in your comment.

Meanwhile, here is a POLL.

SCOTUS "Obamacare" Decision

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  1. Pingback: The Motley Monk’s opinion: SCOTUS will decide, 6-3 | Fr. Z's Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say?

  2. Finarfin says:

    Not only does this ruling play against us in the HHS mandate battle automatically, it also hurts us in the way they justified upholding it.

    Since they have justified Obamacare by saying it’s a tax, the HHS mandate, which springs from Obamacare, can also be justified under tax. And as no one objects to paying taxes, even though some of the money goes to immoral causes, so too (legally, that is) no one should object to paying for contraception, since it is one more tax. It will be a harder case to win now.

  3. Banjo pickin girl says:

    I am sort of scared. Lots of good drugs and devices will disappear from the market in 2014.

  4. I’ll die before paying into the obamacare abortion insurance.

    If you don’t pay into it, there will be penalities. If you don’t follow through, there will be further penalties.

    I’ll die before paying into the obamacare abortion insurance.

  5. Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding ObamaCare:

    The only way Catholic non-profits could have survived the encroachment of the federal government on their right not to buy insurance for services they deem immoral was if the entire ObamaCare legislation had been struck down. That did not happen.

    The Supreme Court did not rule today on the constitutionality of the right of the Obama administration to force Catholic non-profits to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization in their insurance plans; this Health and Human Services (HHS) edict was issued after the high court accepted the ObamaCare bill. Eventually, this particular issue will reach the Supreme Court.

    If the Supreme Court decision lacks clarity, the Catholic response will be anything but ambiguous: the battle lines between the bishops and the Obama administration are now brighter than ever. Fortunately, not only do practicing Catholics overwhelmingly support the bishops, tens of millions of non-Catholics also do.

    ObamaCare may have survived, but it is by no means a lock that the HHS mandate will. It is one thing to levy a tax, quite another to level the First Amendment.

  6. chantgirl says:

    I am honestly floored. This seems to be the worst possible outcome, unless leaving the law mostly whole makes it easier to repeal in its entirety. If we cannot vote in politicians who have the guts to repeal this, who are willing to be one-termers, we may all have to practice civil disobedience. Ruling the law as constitutional only makes it harder for pols to repeal, as they will be seen as grinches who are taking away something that was even given the seal of approval by the SCOTUS. The fallout from this, I fear, is going to be dreadful.

  7. kiwiinamerica says:

    Take a bow “Catholic” John Roberts. Anthony Kennedy is usually the problem swing vote but this time even he saw the light and voted down this abomination. Six Catholics (at least nominally) on the Supreme Court and this is what we get. A fitting symbol of the division, dissent and confusion within the Church itself.

    The liberal project known as America just took one more step towards the great, godless, secular society which has been a work in progress for decades…..perhaps centuries. Persecution and pain await those Catholics (and others of good will) who wish to remain faithful to God’s law. Pray and do penance in order to be spiritually prepared for that which is to come. The Church will become poorer, smaller but more holy.

  8. Captain Peabody says:

    After reading Justice Robert’s decision, this strikes me as a reasonable decision. Obviously, it is not at all optimal for our purposes, but, based on this decision, I have confidence that, if and when the HHS mandate reaches the Supreme Court, it at least will be struck down. In the meantime, we are left where we were before; with the moral imperative to defeat President Obama and elect sufficient lawmakers to get this mandate removed.

  9. Giuseppe says:

    Finarfin – Yes, the individual mandate provision of the PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) was upheld as a tax. Having valid insurance exempts one from the tax. Not having valid insurance makes you liable for the tax.

    I think it will still be possible to litigate what valid insurance entails. I think there is a sufficient ground on the court (CJ Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito) to ultimately invalidate the requirement that valid health insurance must include specific items which some view as morally objectionable.

  10. Geoffrey says:

    Time to pack my bags…

  11. Pingback: Supreme Court | Big Pulpit

  12. BillyHW says:

    Shame on Roberts.

  13. irishgirl says:

    God help our nation….and shame on Justice Roberts….

  14. chantgirl says:

    So what is a Catholic family to do in the meantime? Insurance companies are to start paying for contraception and abortifacients in August of this year, well before the election, before a newly-elected Congress can do anything (assuming we vote in people who will repeal), and before SCOTUS can rule on the HHS mandate.It seems we are placing our hope in a lot of ifs. If we drop our insurance in August (assuming his employer will let us- the employer pays for our premiums and may not let us drop coverage), and then Obamacare is repealed, we would be slapped with pre-existing conditions should we try to enroll again later. Lord, please give some guidance..

  15. jarhead462 says:

    Maybe not too bad: CJ Roberts does NOT want to legislate from the bench, like Liberals do, so he avoids it. this becomes a congressional political battle, now, and if a tax increase jeopardizes congressional re-election bids, it will be repealed. Keeping the Bill whole may be the right move there. Plus, it will affect future Social Welfare bills in the future, with this narrow reading of the commerce clause. It remains to be seen what ramifications this has, but Romney raised $300,000
    We shall see..

    Semper Fi!

  16. ceolfrid says:

    The bishops got what they prayed for.

  17. Maltese says:

    As an extreme Conservative, Traditional Catholic, and Justice Roberts fan, I still think this was the right decision.

    A future Administration can knock-down pro-choice elements of the law; but when has the Republican Party done anything but pay lip-service to life? Most of the Republican appointees to the Supreme Court became pro-choice.

    I’m out of work right now, and my health insurance for my family is costing $1,000 a month.

    Give credit where it is due–Obamacare is going to help tens of millions of people with basic health needs.

  18. Sword40 says:

    As I said in the earlier post; the divisions are now even deeper.

    So now we must Repeal Obamacare. Its our duty so lets get busy. We must get control of the Senate and the Presidency and keep control of the House. Until then just resist the Dictator.

  19. JohnE says:

    So when will the other cases against the HHS mandate be heard by the Supreme Court? It seems that religious freedom might be a stronger case.

  20. Luis says:

    @Captain Peabody, I disagree. The Chief Justice has interpreted what is clearly a penalty in order to uphold the statute. Unfortunately the penalty is not a tax since the Court has always (until today) defined a tax as an enforced contribution to provide for the support of the government… as opposed to a penalty which it defined (until today) as an exaction imposed by statute as punishment for an unlawful act. Therefore, I think his opinion lacks a fair amount of reason where it needed it most. The Congress no longer needs the Commerce Clause but can regulate (and I mean penalize) activity it has no authority to directly regulate as the Chief Justice pointed out is allowed under the Taxation clause in Art I Sec 8. They can penalize any behaviour and have the Court construe it as a tax.

  21. Indulgentiam says:

    i tend to agree with jarhead462. I don’t think this is as bad as it could have been but please, please correct me if i have it wrong. I have not read the entire decision but the following quote gave me reason to hope.
    “The chief justice explains one reason that he — and the four other conservatives — aren’t buying the argument that the Commerce Clause gave Congress the power to impose an individual mandate:“Given its expansive scope, it is no surprise that Congress has employed the commerce power in a wide variety of ways to address the pressing needs of the time. But Congress has never attempted to rely on that power to compel individuals not engaged in commerce to purchase an unwanted product. Legislative novelty is not necessarily fatal; there is a first time for everything. But sometimes “the most telling indication of [a] severe constitutional problem . . . is the lack of historical precedent” for Congress’s action.”

    by leaving the entire mandate under the very narrow construct of a tax it throws the thing back in the lap of Congress which is for the first time in nearly have a century Republican. Yes, yes i know there are many RINO’s but even for them the issue of reelection will definitely have them thinking twice. Or am i being overly optimistic?

  22. wmeyer says:

    ceolfrid: Just so. The bishops’ goals are at cross purposes.

    Indulgentiam: Not as bad as it could have been? We have a president who violates constitutional limits and refuses to enforce Federal laws. We have a Congress which refuses to reign in the out of control president. We also have a Supreme Court which now, in the name of staying above politics, issues a decision which is nothing if not political.

    Our founding fathers knew that their solution would not be proof against corruption; they simply could not think of a better approach.

  23. amsjj1002 says:

    I was looking for the actual text of the opinions (as opposed to quotes), but looks like this is it. Under this link:

    On the right-hand side, where it has:
    Related Resources:
    Supreme Court Ruling on Health Care
    U.S. Supreme Court
    File: 11-393c3a2.pdf
    11-393 National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (06/28/2012)
    193 pages

  24. AvantiBev says:

    This so goes beyond the HHS mandate. [Read Mark Steyn on this.]
    This is about CONTROL not care. Once the various mandates have forced the private insurance companies out of business, the government will be the only game in town. When the government is the one providing care it will also be the one withholding care. Read up on Britain, Netherlands and Canada.

    This bill might as well be called The Baby Boomer Euthanasia Act. Remember the acronym “IPAB” – Independent Patient Advisory Board. As we desend into Grecian levels of insolvency, IPABs will make your local Planned Parenthood appear positively benignly pro-life!

    Dear American Bishops, you and your predecessors since the time of FDR have cheered every program that grew Leviathan in the name of “helping the poor” and “social justice”. You and your predecessors have cheered on nationalized health care for as long as I can remember. There will be little schadenfreude in saying “We told you so.”

  25. JohnE says:

    If not carrying insurance requires you to pay a “tax”, then what does this mean for the pending cases for religious liberty? Our taxes already pay for things we consider immoral. Do we still have strong grounds to make a case?

  26. q7swallows says:

    The good and bad news is that the top search on one of the Internet search engines a few minutes ago was anger management.

  27. kiwiinamerica says:

    Some folks are being waaaay too optimistic about this issue. It’s always tempting to try and find a silver lining but in this case, I don’t think there is one. The Court has allowed the federal government to redefine the nature of health insurance from an optional purchasable product to a mandatory one which can be paid for, if necessary, by taxation. That is the nub of this issue. We can argue all day about what constitutes “valid” health insurance but that’s really a matter of degree, not principle. The principle which has been established is that health insurance is obligatory and therefore monies for this purpose can be levied with menaces.

    Once one has ceded to the state this principle, it seems to me that the state is now in the driving seat to determine what exactly constitutes “valid” insurance. They are, after all, the body which will levy the taxes and therefore they will spend those taxes in a manner which they deem appropriate. This gives them free access to the bully pulpit regarding what should or should not be covered and makes it much harder for the Supreme Court to put a stop to this train once it has left the station.

    I would say the chances of the Catholic case against the HHS mandate just took a nose dive.

  28. rcg says:

    By calling it a tax, it has the same impact of Defense spending for pacifists, you don’t have a choice. I suppose Roberts is similar to Justice Brennan in Roe v. Wade. I think it is proper that they rule on the Constitution as it is and not as they would like it to be. This is a sort of paradox considering that a strict interpretation would allow for the tax. It means the Constitution allows for the Government to do great evil as well as good; I suppose we all knew that. It could be that Roberts is doing us a great favour by showing the problem is the ability of the Government to tax for practically any effort it deems to undertake. So the Constitution does not limit the Government enough, or rather the Constitution was weakened by the 16th Amendment.

    This could be very good if we decide to address the issue at the Constitutional level. That is a big fight, even bigger than religious liberty, for it includes all liberties, not ‘just’ religious freedom.

  29. keithp says:

    Lies. Obama claims it’s not a tax. Ipso facto…. it’s a tax.

    If I was not so upset, I’d laugh.

    Pirate Governement.
    Captain Barbossa: ” First, your return to shore was not part of our negotiations nor our agreement so I must do nothing. And secondly, you must be a pirate for the pirate’s code to apply and you’re not. And thirdly, the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner”

    Welcome aboard, indeed.

    I don’t consent. I’ll pay my denarius to Caesar but also quietly prepare.

  30. Indulgentiam says:

    wmeyer—i agree with everything you said but my question is; isn’t the fact that they threw it back in the lap of congress a good thing? Congress has steadily increased their taxation powers over the years doesn’t that open the door for this very Republican Congress to introduce constraints? i am honestly asking as i am clearly no lawyer and my knowledge of politics is in the “politics 101 stages.”

  31. kiwiinamerica says:



  32. Luis says:

    @jarhead462 I believe a strong argument could be made that Justice Roberts did legislate from the bench because he re-wrote the law which was a penalty as a tax. The Congress didn’t write a taxing provision. They wrote a regulation making it unlawful to be uninsured (unless you get a waiver from the Administration like McDonalds Corp, or other Obama favorites… ) which imposed a penalty for violating same. Congress clearly wrote it as a penalty not a tax.

  33. St. Epaphras says:

    Sr. Mary Ann Walsh is the contact person for email to the USCCB. Does anyone know much about her? Would she be likely to pass on a mail that was not in agreement with the bishops’ statement today on the SCOTUS decision? Not asking for mind-reading abilities. I just know nothing about her.


  34. oakdiocesegirl says:

    I know the decision is 193 pages, but you all should at least read the 6 page syllabus at the beginning before blasting Roberts. [Strangely, my Comcast cable TV went out for 10 minutes precisely at the moment the decision was about to be read-did that happen to anyone else?] Calling the mandate a tax seems to me to be equivalent to calling Obama a liar, since he said it wasn’t one-hardly a blessing from the SCOTUS! Re:”no one objects to paying taxes”.[Finarfin above] That’s actually not true. More Americans today than ever before-approx 50%-pay no income taxes at all. The Tea Party is based on the objection to more taxes:Taxed Enough Already! The worst things about this decision to me are it hands over way too much power to the IRS for enforcement & to insurance companies to determine what is & is not Health Care in the first place-morality to be defined by Kaiser, et al. Like Auto Insurance-a loss is defined by the company, not objective common sense. Personal example: my classic truck was removed from my home driveway by my local police department & destroyed, even though it was legally parked, locked, and INSURED. [yes, I’m still trying to acertain why]. My 30 years of AAA comprehensive insurance coverage Refused to Pay-for no more reason than “the police did it”! But I am still without my truck,-& all the personal effects in it- and no reimbursement despite insurance. A crude example, perhaps, but the ACA has been compared to that mandatory auto insurance. It underscores my point that Mandatory Health Insurance coverage is no guarantee you will receive the actual Health Care you seek or need!

  35. Supertradmum says:

    Roberts, by avoiding coming against this bill and be labeled an activist judge, has done the opposite, and created a activism against States Rights.

    All the 26 States which did not want this bill, and the many small and even large companies that did not want it, are now forced into conforming to an unjust, unnecessary infringement on all of our rights. I quote Hamlet, “Conscience makes cowards of us all”, which means that Roberts as siding with the non-interventionists, has, in my mind, played the coward.

    Sad day–now it is in the hands of the voters.

  36. ocalatrad says:

    This confirms what has been true since 1973: the U.S. government is illegitimate.

  37. Brooklyn says:

    The United States Constitution is officially dead, and no one, especially the most vulnerable and weak among us, have any freedoms left. The government now owns us. The Republicans can make all the noise they want. They are never going to overturn this monster, and it is my own personal opinion that they majority of them don’t want to overturn it.

    Blessed Mother, pray for us.

  38. fatherrob says:

    Finarfin wrote:

    Not only does this ruling play against us in the HHS mandate battle automatically, it also hurts us in the way they justified upholding it.

    I disagree. I think the ruling will have no impact on the religious liberty issues that the Church is challenging under the HHS mandate. By agreeing that the law violates the commerce clause, but is upheld under Congress’s taxing authority, it seems to me that this ruling upholds the law in a very narrow way. Furthermore, by putting it under the taxing authority, this ruling spreads a few “time bombs” throughout the law that could also lead to its undoing. Also, by putting the law under the taxing authority, the Court unmasks the subterfuge of the administration and the Pelosi congress that the law does not impose a tax. The court says quite clearly that it is a tax. At the very least, this will provide quite a bit of ammunition for opponents of the law during the election season.

    To those castigating Justice Roberts for siding with the liberals on the court, I say, “calm down”. I too think that the law was unconstitutional, though I am not the legal scholar that the chief justice is. But Justice Roberts’ job is to interpret the Constitution, not impose Catholic teaching on it. He may very well have been exercising a strategy in his ruling, as it upholds the law in a very narrowly construed way. The court’s ruling, as any supreme court ruling should be, is a judgment that the law comports with the Constitution, not that it is good law or good policy. The question of whether it is good law or good policy is a political question, not a Constitutional one. This decision returns the question to the political process, where it properly belongs. We Catholics, as well as other citizens, have to stop viewing the courts as a shortcut to enact or to abolish policies or laws we object to. We have to be willing to engage in the admittedly dirty work of the political process.

    The question of the HHS mandate will continue to be litigated, and I think this ruling will have little impact on it. And, of course, if we elect political representatives who repeal the law, then the political process will have done its job, and the HHS mandate will be moot.

  39. wmeyer says:

    Indulgentiam: The difficulty I see is that our elected politicians–not representatives, I don’t see any of those–on both sides of the aisle like to increase the power of the Federal government. Their disagreement is about why to do so, not whether.

    When in recent history have we seen Congress repeal a law of consequence?

    Where are we to find a supermajority of politicians with the spine to say enough is enough?

    And if we do not get a very conservative supermajority, then the repeal of Obamacare is not going to happen. Much less any action against the hundreds of executive orders.

    Run through the Bill of Rights. Which of these 10 essential amendments remains in force?

  40. PAT says:

    Jarhead462:”Maybe not too bad: CJ Roberts does NOT want to legislate from the bench, like Liberals do, so he avoids it….”

    What the majority of Justices just did is exactly legislating from the bench.

    The law was written to include a personal mandate such that every person in the United States must have a prepaid healthcare plan. Either we must purchase one of these plans, individually or through our employers, or have one provided for us by some goverment entitlement. Obama and the Democrats were adamant that the mandate was manifestly NOT A TAX. Now, rather than rule that the mandate is unconstitutional and send the law back to the Congress to be repaired and passed again by the people through their supposed representatives, the Justices simply ruled that, yes, the mandate would be unconstitutional, so they effectively rewrote the law themselves to make the mandate into a tax. Then they ruled that the tax they just put in the place of the mandate that the Democrats had expressedly put in the law instead of a tax, is perfectly Constitutional.

    That is what legislating from the bench is: when any court effectively rewrites legislation before it in order to make it into something it originally was not, and then rules on the rewritten legislation.

    By the way, since the whole law stands virtually as written, all of the enormous powers handed to “the Secretary” (for now, Sebelius) to run the Nation’s healthcare as she pleases, purely by her own decrees and mandates, remains in place.

  41. Captain Peabody says:

    If you’ll read Justice Robert’s opinion, you’ll see that there is definitely a limit to what can be reclassified as a tax. The taxation power is by nature much more limited than Congress’ power to apply penalties to lawbreakers, and Roberts makes clear that it is only the fact that this “penalty” does not include most regular features of penalties, includes all features of taxation, and most importantly is small enough to not be directly coercive, but merely incentivizing, that allow it to be classified as a tax and ruled constitutional. As he points out, all taxes by nature provide incentives, and the Supreme Court has in the past ruled that other taxes passed with the express purpose of incentivizing certain behaviors and deincentivizing others are constitutional. However, if the tax was large enough to actively coerce behavior, or allowed for payers of it to be classified as lawbreakers and have other penalties applied to them, the measure would be unconstitutional.

    I’m not saying this reasoning is correct, but it’s a little more complex than some are letting on.

  42. Johnno says:

    Considering Romney also had a similar health care thing in mind, if he’s the nominee for President, I wouldn’t expect any real opposition against this. People need to wake up. The two party system is a charade to serve the real masters of America behind the scenes. Just look at what the GOP is doing to delegates for Ron Paul, its changing of the rules etc. It’s all calculated so that the right man pre-picked for the job is in the running. Not whom the people elect. I’d say we’re really being overly optimistic as to whether the mandate will be struck down. In any case, you can no count on abortion and contraceptive use rising. Planned Parenthood is getting a blank cheque.

  43. wmeyer says:

    Brooklyn: I fear you are correct. And the incredible effort needed to overturn the damage done in the past three years is unlikely to be made by any crop of politicians, now or in the future. The Constitution, which has been trampled upon for years, is dead, and with it, the Republic.

    Our hope now must lie in radical surgery. Anyone for whom we vote must be deeply committed to wholesale repeals, not only of Obamacare, but of much which has been enacted since 2000, for a start.

  44. fatherrob says:

    It seems that Justice Roberts’ thinking is along the lines I laid out in my previous comment. From his opinion:

    It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.

    Translation: If you want an intrusive, statist, nightmarish bureaucracy dictating every important aspect (and even many of the unimportant aspects) of your life, then elect representatives and leaders who will (and who said they will) bring such things to pass. If you don’t want that, then vote the bums out of office.

  45. SKAY says:

    My Congressman–who is also a Doctor said in an interview–
    There are 22 new taxes–generating $500 Billion to the government
    $500 billion will be taken out of Medicare and put in Medicaid.
    New taxes on medical devices.
    He is of course concerned that it wil now put the governmnet between the doctors and their patients–which we all know.
    Interesting–In order to get this thing passed–Obama said this was not a tax. Absolutely not. Democrats –when passing the bill said it was absolutely not a tax. I don’t think they told the truth.
    SCOTUS says it is a tax. This is the largest tax hike in history. There are 1600 new IRS agents. We have just been told that the government can tax us for just about anything. The bill is still being filled out by Sebilius and her crowd. Who knows what else will be put in there.
    Romney has just said that he will immediately work to repeal the bill if elected. He will need a Republican House and Senate to do this. Harry Reid will never let anything come to a vote in the Senate that would go against this Obamacare bill.

  46. wmeyer says:

    It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.

    To the extent that these “representatives” do not act in violation of the Constitution, that is true. However, they have been violating that document for decades, with tacit–and often explicit–approval from the Court.

  47. Johnno says:

    Romney will be called out for his support of similar health care initiatives under the Republicans. What you need is a return to the constitution, and only someone like Ron Paul will do what he says. That’s if the GOP stops committing election fraud and allows him to run fairly.

  48. keithp says:

    If you don’t want that, then vote the bums out of office.

    But, they are all liars Father. ALL …. OF… THEM…..
    1.) It’s not a Tax. Obama
    2.) We’ll allow plenty of time to read the Bill. Pelosi.
    3.) I don’t have the power to overturn…. DOMA, Immigration… Obama.

    This will never ever be rescinded. Never.

  49. St. Epaphras says:

    Never mind comment above re. contacting USCCB. Link was for “media only”.

  50. Indulgentiam says:

    wmeyer—“Run through the Bill of Rights. Which of these 10 essential amendments remains in force?” We still have them though admittedly they have been encroached upon. But i do not believe that you can argue we no longer have them at all. People in Cuba, China, parts of Africa, Vietnam, Haiti etc…no longer have them but we do. Look at how long the government has been trying to deprive us of our Second Amendment rights but have been unable to do so. They push and we push back. Let us not forget that government is run by human beings much like ourselves. Yes they have succumb to the lure of power and they must be fought but God still wills that no soul be lost. This fight is not our first nor will it likely be our last. We are the Church Militant our job is to keep swinging, God decides the outcome. I say let the persecutions begin! lets make an end to this! I really want to go home.

  51. Laura98 says:

    One of issues (for good or ill – I don’t know) is that this mandate will not affect everyone equally. Sure, EVERYONE is supposed to get insurance, however there are exemptions for those in prison, there are exemptions for those members of certain religious persuasions, there are exemptions for those making under a certain amount of money, there are exemptions for this and that. I heard one estimate that only 10% of the population would really be “required” to buy insurance (don’t know if it’s really that low). Which means, that those of us in that category will effectively be paying more for insurance, no matter what.

    Seriously, though, how can the government force people to BUY health insurance if over 50% of the population is already on some form of public assistance?

  52. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Repeal? right…like the success with repealing Roe vs. Wade?

  53. Indulgentiam says:

    sorry, at the end should be—–All for Jesus! All for Mary!

  54. Ted says:

    Living in Canada, this may not be my business, but I would like to offer some observations. Our health care system, like in many countries, is basically funded by general government revenue. (Most people working in large institutions also have private group insurance for additional benefits.) That has resulted in difficult moral situations since in paying taxes one knows that part of that money will go to immoral legal practices such as abortion. Does one stop paying taxes? That could work if the majority of people would also do so on these moral issues, but in a democracy, the majority rules, and one faces jail time by not paying taxes when the government with the backing of the majority is against you. Democracy is not a source of truth, and Plato and Aristotle scorned it, the former dismissing it as a sort of mob rule,but that is what the vast majority still prefer.
    But of course, a lot of very good things are done for people and society through general revenue. One sometimes has to weigh the global picture, accepting the general situation in view of its goodness while trying to fight against its evil aspects.
    It is here that Catholicism has a deep problem. Using the cliche “Cafeteria Catholics”, there are too many of them. The Catholic Church in Canada, and I assume in USA too, has failed to pass on the Faith to its followers. There are too many divisions, beliefs, disagreements, dissentions, and so forth, in other words Catholics no longer speak in a united voice, and the Church in these countries will not go very far as we are seeing. The Church in these countries has to fix its own lack of perspective before telling society what the proper perspective is.

  55. wmeyer says:

    Indulgentiam: When Congress and the President ignore the Bill of Rights, and act in violation of those amendments, that’s not encroachment. It’s criminal, and given the roles of those people, it ought properly to be called treason. Checks and balances have no meaning if the different branches refuse to exercise them. And in the absence of obedience to the Constitution, we do not have a government, but an association of tyrants.

  56. Just to say, no one is forced to do anything immoral. You just refuse to do it. Are there consequences? Sure. We won’t be able to blame anyone for our own immoral actions when we are before the judgment seat of the Living God. You don’t have to pay into an abortion fund insurance program.

  57. JKnott says:

    @ AvantiBev and Brooklyn I agree completely.

    So now it is entirely in the hands of the voters.
    Romney’s response:

  58. wmeyer says:

    Ted, I have lived 13 of my adult years in Canada, and 11 of them under government health care. Not all consecutive years: My last residence ended in 1995. OHIP was the model for Obamacare, and for Hillarycare before it. Having suffered the tender mercies of OHIP, I would not willingly do so again. Obamacare will be worse, if only because the magnitude and number of bureaus involved is much greater.

  59. Indulgentiam says:

    wmeyer—again, i agree with everything you just said. i come from a communist country where we learned first hand that tyrants can never be compromised with just fought to the bitter end. what i see in this country is that we have a fighting chance still. there are good men in government Dr. Rand Paul for example. this decision is, in my opinion, not a death knell but just another call to arms.

  60. Bea says:

    I echo kiwiinamerica ‘s comment
    Yes, “It is all about control.”

    Pelosi once referred medicare recipients/patients (don’t remember her exact calling of us) as UNITS.
    When you begin to hear about “reduction” of “units” think Euthanasia. That will be a way of cutting Government spending so they can use this on abortions.

    I was devastated to hear of their decision. Already some of my husbands and my lab tests/procedures/doctors visits etc. are being constantly questioned. When we had no problems in the past, before January 1, 2012.
    So much for “Obamacare” or is it “Obamacare-less”)?

    When I was growing up, Bishops/Pastors were completely opposed to Government handouts. They clearly saw the infringement of Freedom when you accept Government dollars. We, the Catholics, took care of our own. Now the lucrative $$ has led them to compromise and support programs that have turned around to bite us. Their initial support for Obamacare is already turning around and biting us and STILL they support this devastating health program with the sole exclusion of abortion, when the whole program is bound to implode as the Government continues to dip their hands into the Medicaid fund and Social Security Fund.

  61. Peggy R says:

    If this is a tax, note that it originated in the Senate. [House passed Senate bill to avoid Brown in Senate.] That’s not constitutional…but what does that matter any more.

    While it seems pretty bad, on the other hand, I do think that the ruling may have left enough of a mess that the law will have to be reworked at a minimum. And there will be further cases as the details are implemented, people are denied care, forced to buy this or that. I dont know how HHS mandate will fair, but O didn’t need Ocare. They were already pressing Belmont Abbey to cover contraceptives before the law passed.

  62. @Maltese,

    You write:

    …my health insurance for my family is costing $1,000 a month.

    I saw in the U.S. news within the past year or so a statistic that the average employer contribution to employer-provided health insurance in the nation was in the vicinity of $13,ooo per annum. That would be pretty consistent with what you are paying to maintain your coverage from your own resources. PPACA (aka Obamacare) does little or nothing to solve the problems in our healthcare financing system, beyond requiring everyone employed to depend on their employer’s choice(s) of, and payment for, healthcare services. What we have is not to any significant degree insurance, it is much more accurate to call it mostly pre-paid healthcare. I use the word mostly, because there is a co-pay and/or deductible. How much help PPACA will be to how many people in providing help with “basic health needs” remains an open question absent a thorough analysis of what services are covered, how much PPACA coverage will cost, how those who can’t afford coverage will pay for it, and, last but most assuredly not least, (absent reductions in the cost of health care services, which PPACA will clearly not be able to accomplish) how the shortfalls are to be funded.

    And my comments above do not even mention an issue I have yet to see addressed anywhere. What about those on Medicare and/or on Tricare? (Those are the healthcare financing systems for military retirees and the dependents of active duty military members, respectively). There is currently overhanging those two systems (which use the identical table of reimbursement rates) a cumulative suspended reduction in reimbursement rates to providers of 31%. These are the suspended portions of the incremental reductions in reimbursement which were forecast to be achieved by the implementation of Medicare through the “efficiencies” which Medicare was forecast to bring to health care provision for the elderly and military beneficiaries. Of course, our legislators being the intellectual equivalent of morons on matters of economics, they weren’t achieved (imagine that?). Beginning in the 1980s military dependents and seniors were beginning to experience difficulties in locating providers willing to take new Medicare/Tricare patients. By the 1990s the situation became sufficiently widespread that Congress felt compelled (no doubt by fear of losing their seats) to “suspend” the programmed reductions. This has now recurred frequently enough that a 31% cumulative reduction in (aleady low) reimbursement rates will go into effect at the end of this year (I don’t remember if that’s fiscal—01m October —or calendar—01 January) unless Congress acts once again. “Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow” must be the word of the day for our elected representatives, no? The more serious question is just when will the decisions by doctors not to accept new patients under these programs, and not inconceivably PPACA, mean that people who are covered will simply not be able to find a provider. So their (unavailable) healthcare would have been paid for had they been “accepted,” but because they weren’t able to be seen the government just scored another cost saving.

    I am reasonably confident that the PPACA will be roughly as efficient in bringing costs down as Medicare/Tricare were, or as were any of the other “brilliant” laws enacted by our intellectually incompetent Federal legislators. If they are expecting to achieve economies through government mandates, thereby abandoning the workings of a market mechanism to inform both producers and consumers of healthcare of the most efficient use of all healthcare resources, I would expect we can be approximately as happy with what is coming as the East Germans were with the Trabant auto.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  63. acardnal says:

    Boy! I betcha the Nuns on the Bus are really rocking and rolling now! I can just see it bumping down the highway now as they sing Kumbaya.

  64. Jason Keener says:

    I want all people to have access to good healthcare; however, Americans have to ask themselves: Is ensuring good healthcare truly the role of what was intended to be a very limited federal government? How much power and authority are we willing to give to our federal government, and where will it end? How can such large government operations like Obamacare ever be held accountable by the people? Even some in Congress already admitted that they could not understand all of the bill!

    The Supreme Court justices should have thrown out the entire healthcare law as being unconstitutional because it violates the principle of a limited federal government and is another abuse of the “General Welfare Clause,” which is used to justify about any and everything. I would like to ask Justice Roberts if the federal government now has the power to tax or penalize citizens if they do not purchase electric cars, the right lightbulbs, or the right foods. Again, where does it end?

  65. MAJ Tony says:


    What the majority of Justices just did is exactly legislating from the bench.

    Not really…

    The law was written to include a personal mandate such that every person in the United States must have a prepaid healthcare plan. Either we must purchase one of these plans, individually or through our employers, or have one provided for us by some goverment entitlement.

    Which is paid for by a “penalty” that is really a tax in disguise, since, as someone else here already stated, the “penalty” is financially such that it incentivizes private purchase of the insurance rather than coercing it.

    Obama and the Democrats were adamant that the mandate was manifestly NOT A TAX.

    What’s that saying about how to tell when politicians are lying?

    Now, rather than rule that the mandate is unconstitutional and send the law back to the Congress to be repaired and passed again by the people through their supposed representatives, the Justices simply ruled that, yes, the mandate would be unconstitutional, so they effectively rewrote the law themselves to make the mandate into a tax. Then they ruled that the tax they just put in the place of the mandate that the Democrats had expressedly put in the law instead of a tax, is perfectly Constitutional.

    Actually, all they did was call a spade a spade, based on the difference in a coercive “penalty” scheme and an incentivizing tax scheme.

    That is what legislating from the bench is: when any court effectively rewrites legislation before it in order to make it into something it originally was not, and then rules on the rewritten legislation.

    Except they ruled that the legislation was something other than what it was purported to be. Essentially Roberts & Co. called Obama & Co. a lying tax raiser, whether or not they intended it, and essentially told the American public to sleep in the bed it made.

  66. jrpascucci says:

    Justice Robert’s reasoning seems to give us an out on the HHS contraceptive mandate part:

    JUSTICE GINSBURG questions the necessity of rejecting the Government’s commerce power argument, given that §5000A can be upheld under the taxing power. Post, at 37. But the statute reads more naturally as a command to buy insurance than as a tax, and I would uphold it as a command if the Constitution allowed it. It is only because the Commerce Clause does not authorize such a command that it is necessary to reach the taxing power question. And it is only because we have a duty to construe a statute to save it, if fairly possible, that §5000A can be interpreted as a tax. Without deciding the Commerce Clause question, I would find no basis to adopt such a saving construction. The Federal Government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance.

    Further, Ginsburg’s own reasoning in one section seems to support our position against the HHS contraception mandate:

    Other provisions of the Constitution also check congres­sional overreaching. A mandate to purchase a particular product would be unconstitutional if, for example, the edict impermissibly abridged the freedom of speech, inter­fered with the free exercise of religion, or infringed on a liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause.

  67. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Laura, the big issue is that the penalty for noncompliance for employers is much less than the cost of most health insurance policies. Therefore, those of us with employers who pay a large percentage of our health insurance premium will throw us into the government insurance pool and preferentially pay the penalty. The available insurance will not have the same coverage, believe me.

  68. Luis says:

    @Captain Peabody
    “If you’ll read Justice Robert’s opinion, you’ll see that there is definitely a limit to what can be reclassified as a tax.”
    I did read the opinion and part of Ginsburg’s (for what ever that was worth, don’t bother…) and I also read the dissent before I posted a syllable. Yes there are limits to what can be classified as a tax and they are spelled out in the dissent with more detail than in the majority. The cases relied on by Chief Justice Roberts, as explained in the dissent, held that a TAX was so onerous that it became a PENALTY but that doesn’t allow a finding that a penalty can be re-classified as a tax to survive a constitutional challenge. The dissent points out that is simply not logical.

  69. Johnno:

    You write:

    …the GOP is … changing … the rules….

    It is not just “changing the rules,” it is doing so ex post facto, after the fact. The lawlessness exemplified by establishment Democrats in recent decades is now being mirrored by the same sort of lawlessness by establishment Republicans.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  70. Luis says:

    @ Peggy R
    “If this is a tax, note that it originated in the Senate. [House passed Senate bill to avoid Brown in Senate.] That’s not constitutional…but what does that matter any more.”
    KUDO”S Peggy! That too is in the dissent! I think if you haven’t already read any of the opinions you might START with the dissent and then go for the majority opinion.

  71. SKAY says:

    “doesn’t that open the door for this very Republican Congress to introduce constraints? ”

    The House is Republican and has passed many bills that are sitting in the Democrat Senate.
    Harry Reid will not bring them to the floor for a vote in the Senate. A Democrat Senate or House
    will NOT allow Romney to overturn Obamacare. If Obama is re-elected he would veto any attempt by a Republican House and Senate to overturn his signature bill. In that case there would be a lot of Obama vetoes. Of course he does not really bother with the Constitution becaue he doesn’t like it.. It will be up to us to remind our particular Republican Represenatives. and Senators of their promises and hold their feet to the fire. It is up to us. This election is huge–if you care about freedom.

  72. jhayes says:

    Jrpascucci quoted CJ Roberts: “The Federal Government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance.”

    But he also said that it has the right to require people who don’t have health insurance ot pay a tax.

  73. ocalatrad says:

    “Vote the bums out” might’ve worked decades ago where we had some semblance of a democratic process but the whole thing is a total charade now. When you have SCOTUS’s interpretation of the now-defunct Constitution giving corporations free rein to dump millions into campaign coffers and super PACs, how can you expect Joe Schmo down the street to have any real say in politics? And even if someone decent is elected, the utterly vile, corrupt environment in Washington rots them to the core. “Quis cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgunt.” We are living in a soft tyranny, plain and simple.

  74. jhayes says:

    It seems that, in some convoluted way, Obamacare was somewhat upheld by the Supreme Court.

    The only change is that if a state opts out of the expanded Medicaid program, The government can’t withold payments for the existing Medicaid program.

  75. pjthom81 says:

    A few thoughts from an attorney:

    (1) I disagree strongly with the decision. That said the only thing left is to appeal it to the people. Unlike many other things I have disagreed with including (I regret to say) Roe, this is not popular with a majority of the people. Once people realize that it both imposes a regressive tax and cuts Medicare substantially it will become far less popular still. Hopefully we will get to undo this bill after November. If not I suspect that, unlike wine, it will not age well.

    (2) Labeling this mandate as a “tax” makes it practically impossible to repeat in the future given political realities. Therefore, this should be (we hope) as far as this decision goes.

    (3) If the bill does persist in its unpopularity it hopefully will educate many on the results of voting based upon flippant reasons. Basically: the voters have spoken, now they must be punished. This does not even address the fact that its spending levels are simply unsustainable in any economy, which will ultimately be fodder for the Tea Party.

    (4) As it is a “tax” there is, as other commentators have pointed out, still reason to hope that our religious liberty arguments still will prevail at the SCOTUS.

    (5) It is not clear that Roberts has betrayed his views. His judicial heros always were people like Felix Frankfurter and Byron White rather than more ardent conservatives such as Antonin Scalia or William Rhenquist (to say nothing of the Pierce Butler or George Sutherland types). The good news here is that there is likely little reason to doubt that Roberts is pro-life and that his vote could be counted on to overrule Roe. There is no reason in reading his opinion that he is anything but sincere, nor do I see any reason to challenge his Catholicism in all charity. He merely does not like to strike down laws of either the Federal or State governments.

    (6) And if that is true upholding Roe now has a 5-4 majority, and Roberts has just created what is likely going to end in a backlash against the Left. Kennedy and Ginsburg will both likely retire in the not too distant future. One solid appointment would make all the difference in the world.

  76. fatherrob says:
    It seems that Justice Roberts’ thinking is along the lines I laid out in my previous comment. From his opinion:

    It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.

    Translation: If you want an intrusive, statist, nightmarish bureaucracy dictating every important aspect (and even many of the unimportant aspects) of your life, then elect representatives and leaders who will (and who said they will) bring such things to pass. If you don’t want that, then vote the bums out of office.

    How about this: support, uphold and defend the Constitution, as judges and justices have sworn to do, even when the people make bad political choices?

  77. Cavaliere says:

    Today’s reading from the office of Lauds is a timely reminder that despite the darkness that seems to overwhelm us there is always hope in this vale of tears,

    What we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us.

  78. pjthom81 says:

    Postscript: in reading over some of the comments I feel compelled to state that I would also caution against despair or cynicism regarding the process or the people involved in politics. Our system allows us to win only if we organize and involve ourselves in electing candidates that carry what is important to us in their hearts. It is our job to make certain as to their character and veracity. This is not the time to retreat from the public square. Rather, this is a time to become more active and involved.

  79. Jim of Bowie says:

    Looking on the bright side of this otherwise depressing day, this may rid us of Obama.

  80. Andrew says:

    I wonder why the SCOTUS is allowed to make monumental decisions with a 5 to 4 vote. I could see a 7 to 2 (not everyone has to agree with everything) but a 5 to 4 is way too thin, isn’t it? Think about it! Four, nearly half, of the top justices disagree with the ruling. How solid can it be?

  81. mamajen says:

    “Strongly disapprove”, but I feel so beaten down by this presidency that I can hardly even care anymore. I used to be extremely excited about our political system and very involved in politics. My last shred of interest vanished along with the hope of Sarah Palin running for president. I will of course vote to rid our country of Obama (as I urge everyone to, whether you really like the alternative or not), but I have never felt so indifferent.

  82. Scarltherr says:

    If we cannot vote the bums out and repeal this dagger in the heart of freedom, we are doomed. Further comments here:

  83. Cavaliere says:

    Obamacare is going to help tens of millions of people with basic health needs.

    Yes at what cost? The uninsured business owner contractor who is now forced to buy insurance will necessarily raise his rates to cover his new expense. Since the insurance company cannot deny people with pre-existing conditions etc then the cost of everyone’s premiums will go up or services will be reduced. There is no guarantee that just because someone has health insurance they will use it or take care of themselves. There are many people whose lifestyle choices will not change simply because they have insurance nor will they likely seek preventive care just because they carry insurance now. The main problem with Obamacare is that it has not addressed any of the root causes or issues of our broken healthcare system. The only thing it has truly done is let some people feel good about themselves for thinking they did something.

  84. Sam Schmitt says:

    @Captain Peabody

    “If you’ll read Justice Robert’s opinion, you’ll see that there is definitely a limit to what can be reclassified as a tax.”

    The criteria set out by Justice Roberts defy common sense, not to mention the intent of Congress. According to this reasoning a fine for speeding (or any low-level civil penalty) could be considered a tax: it actively incentivizes driving at lower speeds, but is not large enough to actively coerce that behavior. Further, it does not allow for payers of the fine to be classified as lawbreakers and have other penalties applied to them.

    So the test is basically the size of the penalty? – small size = tax; large size = penalty? The intent of Congress simply doesn’t matter anymore?

    I agree with those who say that it is not the job of the Supreme Court to save us from bad or stupid laws which happen to be unconstitutional – that’s what the political process is for. But this falls apart when we have a court making such breathtakingly lame arguments for constitutionality.

  85. Traductora says:

    First of all, I’m shocked by this decision…but it may actually be because Roberts was so afraid of appearing partisan than he took a very,very narrow reading of the law.

    Interestingly, Muslims and the Amish, both of which groups regard insurance as sinful, were exempted. So I guess they’re also exempted from then”tax” for not buying it. But is it possible to exempt any group from a tax?

  86. Indulgentiam says:

    skay—thank you for helping me to understand how politics plays out. tomorrow at 8am is my Naturalization Oath Ceremony. i will be a U.S Citizen, finally. i can not wait to vote obama out of office! although i’m afraid that Romney may not be much of an improvement. if i am understanding the process correctly there will be 23 Democratic seats up for grabs, in the Senate, this November as opposed to only 10 Republican seats. Those are not bad odds yes?

  87. wmeyer says:

    In a radio interview, Sen. Isaaksen of GA said that because the decision supported Obamacare on tax principles, it has opened the door for the Senate to deal with it in reconciliation, which requires only 51 votes, not 60. Not cause for celebration, but a glimmer of hope.

  88. Cavaliere says:

    Justice Roberts statement, It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices, is the epitome of a cowardly statement, a cop out. His “job” is to determine the constitutionality of a law. Pilate t0ok the same stance 2000 years ago when to paraphrase he said, hey I see no guilt in this man but you have made your political choice so who am I too interfere. Right, wrong, those are just words, at least now I’m getting invited to better parties.

  89. iPadre says:

    We need Senator Joseph McCarthy to return and clean out our government! and courts!

  90. acardnal says:

    @Indulgentiam: Congratulations on your pending U.S. Citizenship! (I wonder why they aren’t doing it on July 4th?!)

  91. acardnal says:

    @Indulgentiam: despite the difficulties, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

  92. taad says:

    Remember Fatima and what Sister Lucia said. If people do not reform their lives, stop sinning, such as sins of the flesh, which cause more people to go to Hell than any other sin, every country except Portugal would become Communist. Reagan once said the entry way for the Communist to take over the US is through “National Health Care”. This is the end game. The answer to our problems is Our Lady. Read Lucia’s book “Calls”. It’s the game plan. An interesting point in the book is a comment Our Lady made that the only thing left for us will be the Rosary. Why not the Mass? Is something going to happen to make the Mass impossible to get to?

  93. acardnal says:

    @iPadre: I saw something on NewLiturgicalMovement’s blog about your 20 anniversary of ordination where you celebrated a TLM/EF Mass. Thank you for your service to the Church and your sacrifices.

  94. Jim of Bowie says:

    Chief Justice Souter was just looking out for his legacy among liberal historians. A cowardly decidsion.

  95. robtbrown says:

    iPadre says:

    We need Senator Joseph McCarthy to return and clean out our government! and courts!

    What did McCarthy accomplish?

  96. taad says: Remember Fatima and what Sister Lucia said. If people do not reform their lives, stop sinning, such as sins of the flesh, which cause more people to go to Hell than any other sin, every country except Portugal would become Communist.

    She did not say that. She said that Portugal would hold fast to the Faith. Portual was already under an atheistic, socialist regime when she appeared to the children.

    One thing is certain: this country will never straighten up until we ourselves straighten up. If the overwhelming majority of Americans were leading good, moral, virtuous lives, the enemies that now run our government could never have come to power.

  97. Indulgentiam says:

    acardnal—Thank you! i’m just grateful everything went through before the elections. the 4th of july would have been nice but i’ve been waiting so long for this day that, for me, the sooner the better.
    @taad–i absolutely agree. anyone who has lived under communist rule for any length of time knows that it is, without doubt, satanic. in the small country where i am from when communists took over the very first thing they did was board up the Churches and post armed guards. Many Priests and Nuns disappeared and even though the government said that they had been deported everyone knew that this was not so. Families that hid clergy and religious also disappeared.

    Over at the Heritage Foundation Network they have an excellent handle on the obamacare issue. these folks have testified before congressional committees and have been at the front lines of the fight against obamacare since its introduction. Here is a quote:
    “The decision announced today could open the door to even more dictates from Washington for generations to come. Indeed, anyone who has any doubts about this need only read the Court’s suggestion that Congress could force Americans to buy energy efficient windows or pay a tax.
    Fortunately, Americans have always fought for freedom, and won’t give up now. We must turn to the task at hand and work for full repeal of this law. The Supreme Court has in essence given this decision back to Congress and the people, where political power resides.
    The American people have spoken—they don’t support Obamacare and fear its consequences more every day. Just this month a new poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News showed that more than two thirds of Americans want to see the Supreme Court strike down Obamacare in whole or in part, and only 24 percent would keep the law in place.
    Thankfully, the duty to defend the Constitution is not given solely to the Supreme Court—it is one shared by Congress and the President. It is now Congress’ turn to do what’s right both for the Constitution and policy reasons: repeal Obamacare.
    The American people know this year will be a turning point in American history. We have a big decision between constitutional, limited government on the one hand and Leviathan on the other.
    This law fails American families—it raises premiums and taxes, drives up spending and debt, undermines the doctor-patient relationship, tramples on religious liberty and expands the role of government in our daily lives.
    It is time for full repeal.”

  98. joecct77 says:

    For years the legislature has passed “sin” taxes on such things as tobacco and alcohol. Now, apparently, we have a “virtue” tax where we will be taxed into compliance with a law. Unprecedented — and frightening on the taxing powers of the legislature.

    Can we be taxed if we do not own a firearm?
    Can we be taxed if we are overweight?
    Can we be taxed if we have too many (or few) children?

    Chief Justice (oh the irony!) Marshall said “The power to tax is the power to destroy.” The 2012 election should not be about Obamacare but on the scope and effect of the taxing powers of the legislature. If you want broad, unlimited powers, vote one way. If you want limited taxing powers, vote the other.

    And we don’t have to overturn all of Obamacare. All the Congre$$ has to do is add the following sentence in the fiscal year 2013 Treasury appropriation bill: “No funds under this act may be used to enforce the provisions of P.L. 111-148.”

  99. rodin says:

    On the less dim side upholding obamacare may spare us from an acute attack of complacency. Overweening government by taxation may well increase the potency of the opposition.

    As I recall, the colonists in North America were taxed beyond endurance and a tax on tea led to a final, and unpleasant, settlement of the matter.

  100. acardnal says:

    taad and mis. anita moore, op: if possible, please cite references such as book title, author and page number to support your remarks. thanks.

  101. Kypapist says:

    So if the “penalty” for non-coverage is really a “tax,” does that mean that tax exempt organizations,
    such as the Catholic Church, do not have to pay it?

    I have said all along that if the government was sincere about helping people get health care, they would make all medical expenditures fully deductible “above the line,” i.e. as an adjustment to gross income; and not limited to expenses in excess of 7.5% of adjusted gross income treated as itemized deductions.

  102. Gus Barbarigo says:

    Et, tu, Roberte?

    @Andrew: Some recent 5-4 decisions, like Citizens United, Heller, and McDonald, have actually saved First and Second Amendment rights.

    The problem is, once the initial furor dies down, and football season starts, etc., it’s very hard to keep enough public momentum to change a Supreme Court opinion. Engel v. Vitale (effectively ended school prayer) has been on the books for 50 years, Roe v. Wade for 39. We, the frogs in the pot, don’t notice the increasing heat of the water until we’ve been boiled!

    @taad: Is the Mass angle a comment on the Novus Ordo , I wonder!

  103. wmeyer says:

    If the government were sincerely interested in reducing the cost of health care, they would not only make the costs fully deductible, but would repeal the multitude of legislation they passed in the last 50 years which made it unaffordable.

  104. Kevin B. says:

    Next up: a tax on parents who fail to provide contraception for their teenage children, a tax on homeschooling your children, a tax on not getting abortions if you’re below a certain income level…

  105. Cavaliere says:


    Maybe this will answer your question of taad and Anita,

  106. dawnmaria says:

    I am feeling somewhat positive about this ruling. CJ Roberts has made it clear that Obamacare means a significant tax on the middle and lower classes (despite Obama’s insistence that it is not a tax). This ruling ultimately will cause the ruination of insurance companies because they no longer get to choose who they will insure and on what basis. Everyone is covered and you and I have to pay for it. Insurance premiums will skyrocket. If the people want this devastation to be visited upon the US, let them re-elect Obama. This ruling has given the healthcare issue back to the voters where it belongs. Make your vote count! The Constitution does not protect an ignorant voting public that elects dumb people who pass stupid laws. In any case, CJ Roberts ‘s opinion seriously curtailed what the government may do pursuant to the commerce clause.

  107. chantgirl says:

    Kevin B- a tax on homeschooling? We who homeschool already pay twice between our taxes, and paying for our own materials. I do think your instincts are correct, though. If the Federal govt. has no regard for religious liberty, parental rights aren’t safe either. Homeschoolers in Canada have already started to feel the heat; we may be only a few years from where they are.

  108. chantgirl says:

    Kevin B- I could also see mandatory prenatal testing, and a tax if you chose to carry a “less than worthy child” to term. Or how about births past two being optional and not covered by insurance?

  109. dervorin says:

    I voted for the neutral option. Of course I want Obamacare repealed, because of the outrageous nature of the tax and the mandate, and I MUST oppose it on the moral grounds of the abortion funding implied by its passage.


    I am also HAPPY about this DECISION (note: happy about the DECISION, not about OBAMACARE; you can like the DECISION and not like OBAMACARE), and I’ll tell you why. One. The bill has been definitively been called a tax, by both liberals and (conservative), which means that Barack Obama is a huge flaming liar. Numerous times throughout the campaign and during his administration, Obama repeated the lie that Obamacare was not a tax. Pelosi, Reid, and other statist Congresspeople and administration officials perpetuated that lie with their statements. It’s all a big LIE. And this DECISION confirmed that Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the rest are ALL LIARS. This is good news for those of us who oppose the Obama agenda.

    I am ALSO happy about this decision because you need to lose a battle or two to win the war. You need to have two things happen to you, which result from losing a battle. First is an exercise in humility. Second is an exercise in staying on our toes.

    The first is needed because we sometimes feel that our side will always win. Our side will not always win. We do not control every battle in politics. Sometimes battles are out of our control. Battles in the House, Senate, Executive, and especially the Judiciary branch are completely out of our control. We may feel that we controlled them or had an effect on outcomes because the outcomes coincided with the particular side we were rooting for, but we don’t really have that kind of control. I said a similar thing on Twitter: conservatives should not have invested so much in this case. I saw conservatives who the day before were as cheery and chipper as ever IMPLODE over this. Every five tweets from the 1500+ people I follow was “America is now dead.”, and I just couldn’t understand why people invested so much in this. We need to take our losses, nurse our wounds, and pull ourselves together, not be torn apart by, of all things, a decision made by 9 people we don’t know and have/had/never will have an effect on.

    The second is needed because we were getting a little too comfortable, a little too cocky, and a little too hasty. We got too comfortable with the political system, which is of course flawed. We got too cocky believing everyone was on our side, that the deck was stacked in our favor. We got too hasty, investing everything in this decision. As I said above, we have very little to do with House, Senate, Executive, and Judiciary decisions. We may influence congresspeople by sending them messages that they read, but typically, if they act a certain way which coincides with our particular side, as I said before, this is entirely coincidental. Much more so in the Executive and Judicial branches, where we have basically nothing to say. Since the system is flawed such that the people (ironically in the service of whom the system was designed) have so very little a say in the political processes, we need to find our niche if you will. I will return to this point when treating the third aspect.

    But on to our cockiness. We got a little too audacious, after our victory in 2010, and subsequent victories, electoral and otherwise. Remember: this is a WAR (a non-violent one; remember, new tone), and even a sweeping 2010 victory for us is just one battle in that war. Even getting to the bottom of Fast and Furious, a hugely unfortunate scandal which just may serve to expose corruption in the Obama administration, is a battle in this war. Even all the other successes and accomplishments the conservative movement has under their belt thus far are nothing more than battles in a greater war. We MUST focus on the battle at hand. I go back to the fatalist tweets that I saw earlier, saying “Freedom is dead”, and I counter that with something Rush Limbaugh said today: Our freedom of choice just encountered a death panel called the Supreme Court. Freedom is NOT dead, and the war for America is NOT over. The war continues, even though we lost what seems to be to be a largely inconsequential battle, the reasons for which I will discuss next.

    Finally point three, haste makes waste. We were WAY too hasty going in to this. Did anyone REALLY expect Obamacare to be DEAD GONE FOREVER AND EVER after, say, a decision which condemns the individual mandate but upholds everything else? I hope not, because that’s not only hasty but naive. People treat this little battle like it encompasses the war. No. It is representative of the war. It is part of the war. If one congressperson does something bad do we scrap the entire system and find a new one? No. We move on from that screw-up and try to do better next time. I said before that it seems to me that this battle is largely inconsequential. The reason I say that is because I believe, contrary to what most people seem to believe, that any other decision would have done very much at all. If the Supreme Court struck down one, two, or three-ish parts of the bill, would it all be gone? No. Would we still have a 2000 page monstrosity on our hands? Yes. But beyond that we would gain NOTHING. Obama would condemn it, I’m sure, and tell us he knows what’s best, and we’d be back on square one. We’d still have to repeal it. We need to focus on the GOAL, and not get entranced by fancy-looking ideas along the way. The GOAL is repeal and removal of Obamacare. A SCOTUS decision striking it down would NOT remove it. Now, when I said above that we need to find our niche, I was speaking a lot about how little we are able to affect politics in this country. What I mean by “find our niche” is that we need to find the one area where we can effectively direct our energy in such a way that we can in fact bring about political change. And that niche, I believe, is the ballot box. Elections, of course. That is where we get to decide who “serves” us in this flawed political system. Yes. Not a very bright outlook. Yet that’s all we’re left with. And that is what we have to do. Vote. Vote AGAINST Obama, vote AGAINST Obamacare, vote AGAINST the single biggest tax increase this nation has ever seen, vote FOR Romney (presuming he is the nominee), vote FOR freedom of choice, and vote FOR lower taxes and small government.

    Anyway, it’s about time I wrapped this up – but you folks get the point don’t you? This is not the end of our republic! America lives on! Freedom has been challenged; indeed, confronted with a veritable “death panel”, as Rush said, yet freedom, I contend, lives on, although wounded grievously. As I said on Twitter today: We CAN save freedom, and we CAN save America. It is NOT over yet, Obamacare CAN and (I believe) WILL be repealed, and Obama CAN and (I believe) WILL be defeated (in November, not in a military way; new tone), so stop crying and mourning the supposed death of America and pull yourselves together, conservatives.

    The end? Of this post, yes. But not by any stretch of the imagination of the United States of America, or of its precious freedom.

  110. Angie Mcs says:

    Indulgentiam, I would like to add my congratulations to you as you take your naturalization oath tomorrow, something you and I share. My family lived through Nazism and Communism in the DDR, and after the war got on a boat to come here …I was two years old, and they had such dreams for raising me here, for all of us in this country. I still have the little black and white photo of the Statue of Liberty my father took as we approached the mainland. He told me everyone on board cried tears of joy when they saw her, thinking what they had gone through and those they had to leave behind.

    I heard so many stories as I was growing up, of adults speaking in whispers in case their children heard them and reported them to the Hitler Youth, of families huddled around a turned down radio to get illegal Radio Free Europe Stations. And it all started with the mentality “This Germany, a civilized, cultured country. These things can’t happen here!”

    Its been a disheartening day and there will be more to come, and more fights and struggles ahead of us. But today I am grateful for this blog, it’s very existence, where all of us, whether we agree on every point or not, can still say what we want and how we feel. Today, as I go out, I will put on my crucifix and wear it with special pride. Somehow, all this had drawn me closer to Him.

  111. heway says:

    Justice Roberts did a good job of besmirching the Supreme Court of the US. I would have voted with Kennedy and Scalia, not a likely couple.
    But this is not the end. There are lawsuits to come and as someone said today..”This will wake the sleeping giant” Guess we need the Tea Party to rise up again and get people to vote Chicago hoods out of DC.
    Another option, close the hospitals, adoption agencies, social service agencies and all connected to the Catholic Church. A big sacrifice but it may be necessary in order to have any moral certitude.

  112. PAT says:

    MAJ Tony: “Which is paid for by a “penalty” that is really a tax in disguise, since, as someone else here already stated, the “penalty” is financially such that it incentivizes private purchase of the insurance rather than coercing it.”

    It cannot be a tax bill and be Constitutional. This bill originated in the Senate. By the Constitution, tax bills must originate in the House. That is the real reason why the Democrats were so adamant that it was NOT A TAX; that it was a “penalty” and based on the Commerce Clause. Calling it a tax would, in any normal Constitutional sense, automatically invalidate the bill.

    Remember what happened: The Democrats got their bill through the Senate at the last minute, right before the election. Then, Scott Brown was elected — in Massachusetts — on a promise to be the 41st vote against ObamaCare in the Senate. The Democrats knew that they could never get another ObamaCare bill through the Senate. So they sent it as it was to the House. The House turned itself inside out to pass the Senate bill with no changes, so that it would not have to go back to the Senate for a reconciliation vote that it would not pass. For goodness sake, House Democrats were going to “deem” it passed without a vote because Bart Stupak, “Catholic,” at first would not budge. The bill passed the House after Stupak and his group caved when Obama swore to high heaven that he would issue an EO forbidding any money to go for abortions. Riiight. But the point remains that the bill did not originate in the House as required for a “tax” bill.

    The Supreme Court just today ruled that the mandate in the bill is not Constitutional under the Commerce Clause. It’s not Constitutional as a tax bill, either. But that did not stop Justice Roberts from rewriting the bill (and that is what the dissenting Justices called it) to make it a tax bill and then declaring it Constitutional, and to heck with the Constitution! Who cares what it says about originating bills?

    By the way, the manner in which the Democrats had to cram the Senate bill through the House quickly and not vote on again when it came back from the House is why the bill does not have a severability clause. It accidentally got left out in the rush to cram it down on us.

    So, now I have to pay a “tax” (not a “penalty”) for not doing something — for not buying something. Under this precedent, what else can I be taxed for not doing? Or not buying?

  113. Tantum Ergo says:

    No cause for alarm. Jesus didn’t save the Peter’s barque from sinking in the storm on the Sea of Galilee at the first puff of wind. No, it’s usually His way to let the storm reach force before He rescues. Otherwise, what a lesson lost! (That doesn’t mean, however, that we shouldn’t man the baling buckets in the meantime.)

  114. AA Cunningham says:

    “Give credit where it is due–Obamacare is going to help tens of millions of people with basic health needs.” Maltese says: 28 June 2012 at 11:25 am

    That would depend on how you define credit. I’m sure the millions of infants who will be slaughtered in utero and the millions of elderly who will now be euthanized would disagree. The end doesn’t justify the means. Millions of uninsured people, many of whom already choose not to purchase health insurance, have access to healthcare at any hospital in the country and through Medicaid.

    “but when has the Republican Party done anything but pay lip-service to life?”

    How about the Hyde Amendment, partial birth abortion ban, Mexico City policy, ceasing additional funding for embryonic stem sell research, defunding planned parenthood, defunding the UN, refusing to pay for abortions in military hospitals overseas, parental notification laws, et al

    All lip service to the deaf.

  115. robtbrown says:

    Maltese says:

    As an extreme Conservative, Traditional Catholic, and Justice Roberts fan, I still think this was the right decision.

    Roberts seems to have deferred to Congress’ right to levy taxes.

    A future Administration can knock-down pro-choice elements of the law; but when has the Republican Party done anything but pay lip-service to life? Most of the Republican appointees to the Supreme Court became pro-choice.

    Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist, and Alito all have been solid anti Roe votes. The skunk at the conservative justices’ picnic, however, is stare decisis–O’Connor, Souter, and, sadly, Kennedy fit that bill (to mix a metaphor). Kennedy’s vote on Casey was the missed opportunity.

    The Repubs have been also fairly solid in defunding abortion.

    Give credit where it is due–Obamacare is going to help tens of millions of people with basic health needs.

    I have no objection to federally funded health care, except that it is inevitable that it will fund abortion and contraception. Also:

    1. Any notion that the feds can wave a magic wand and stop the increase in health care costs is a crock of BS. The jump in insurance costs is a function of demographic changes and all the new medical diagnostic and therapeutic procedures produced by technology. No law or program is going to change that. The only thing that will save 21st century health care from bankrupting the nation is the pharmaceutical revolution that is just beginning–it will replace very expensive procedures with much less expensive medication.

    2. It is also nonsense that the Euro national health programs deliver the same care as does the American system.

    3. Being very familiar with the VA system, I know that the same is true of the medicine practiced at VA hospitals.

  116. Fr-Bill says:

    I had been appointed to a position where I reviewed and acted upon federal regulations. A most important statement was made to me. Here it is: It does not matter if you agree. The law says what it says, Whether you are for or against it also does not matter, Your feelings do not matter. It says what it says.

  117. BMKoenig says:

    I believe that the decision may have just opened up the door for the government to do an end-run around the Bill of Rights.

    In the decision, Roberts wrote:

    “That, according to the Government, means the mandate can be regarded as establishing a
    condition—not owning health insurance—that triggers a tax—the required payment to the IRS. Under that theory, the mandate is not a legal command to buy insurance. Rather, it makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income.”

    The same argument can be used, for example, to limit criticism of the government. Imagine if a law is passed requiring one to support and promote the policies of the government, with the stipulation that those who wish to not support the policies can pay a tax for their dissent. Under the theory presented by the court, it would not be a legal command to support the government. Rather, it would make not supporting and promoting the government policies just another thing the government can tax.

    Roberts wrote, ” ‘Proper respect for a co-ordinate branch of the government’ requires that we strike down an Act of Congress only if “the lack of constitutional authority to pass [the] act in question is clearly demonstrated.”

    Since the mandate was deemed unconstitutional based upon the Commerce clause yet was constitutional based upon the power to levy taxes, one could surmise that a law requiring one to “support and promote the policies of the government” would pass scrutiny if it imposes a tax on those who decide not to support and promote a government policy, but not outlaw the practice of not supporting the government policy.

    A law such as that would not violate the 1st Amendment prohibition on abridgment of free speech since it would “merely” be imposing a tax on those who exercised their freedom of speech and taxation is an enumerated power of government.

    I see this decision as being a slippery slope.

  118. Supertradmum says:

    I have lived many years in Canada and England and the systems are horrible. Malta’s system is not good and the clinics are dirty. When British Columbia passed a bill stating that all doctors had to do abortions, America gained hundreds of doctors, inlcuding mine in Iowa, overnight, who crossed the border rather than submit. Friends of mine in BC with many children did not have a doctor within 100 miles and they had to move to Alberta. I cannot give you the entire list of abuses here. I know for sure of a brother of a friend of mine who was euthanized in a hospital in England. I was in the room when the decision was made and tried to stop the procedure, but the family and doctors overruled my Catholic stance. The family was Catholic. This happens all the time by the withholding of water and food to the old (over 70 is old) and those who need care, as in comas. When I was in Malta, thyroid medication in one town was for several weeks unavailable for some reason. Can you imagine drug shortages?

    Do not kid yourselves, as the mandate favors young people and not even the late middle-aged. This is all social engineering of the most obvious kind.

  119. Fr. William says:

    Please pray for the Bishops because I believe their voices, or lack thereof, will make a huge difference in this years election. Yes, the scandals and sin has damaged the effectiveness of their voices, but their voices are still important and of primary importance! Pray that they will proclaim with fullness of voice the “non-negotiables” of pro-life and that these trump the many other issues that we face, but for which there is room for discussion about what is best or how best to proceed in living our faith. Abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and un-natural marriage are things which cannot be tolerated nor accepted. If the voice of the Bishops is not resolute in proclaiming this, even though there are many emotionally engaging issues, then many people will simply equate one with the others. Please pray that the spine of the Bishops which has seemed to become apparent, may become manifest as well in their voice of the hierarchy of goods for life and which should be applied in voting. Pray and continue to pray the Fortnight for Freedom and other prayers. Sadly, the Fortnight for Freedom has not gotten much “play” from many priests. I spoke to my parents the other night and they said that nothing has been said or printed in their parish. The Bishops and priests who are faithful to Christ’s teaching entrusted to the Church for the salvation of souls must be firm, steadfast, and resolute because the voices of those who oppose the faithful proclamation are ringing out loudly.

  120. BarefootPilgrim says:

    As Mr. Bumble most famously said (Oliver Twist), “…the law is a ass – a idiot.”

  121. So, do the fines begin 1 August? What are the fines? Are bank accounts confiscated?

  122. NoTambourines says:

    Didn’t see this coming. I thought it might be struck down 5-4, but I still figured it would be struck down.

    Along with the trampling over freedom of religion, I have these concerns:

    – Fraud, a la the dental Medicaid scandal that’s been ongoing in Texas.
    – Prices being driven up by the fact that a government check is a sure thing no matter what the price, and with little oversight — also by fraud and waste.
    – The emergence of a cottage industry of phony-baloney insurance to avoid paying a fine for not having insurance. Scammers are probably salivating right about now about ways to target the poor, elderly, and immigrants.

    And a random question: How do Christian Scientists factor into this puzzle?

  123. acardnal says:

    To quote Catholic Mary Anne Glendon, former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and Harvard Law professor, “just because a law is Constitutional doesn’t mean it isn’t a bad law.”

  124. jhayes says:

    I find it hard to imagine that it matters to the person paying it whether it is called a tax or a penalty.

    Since I live in Massachusetts, each year when I do my income tax I fill out a Schedule HC to report whether I have health insurance and, if not, how much I owe the state for not having it.

    A couple with no insurance during the whole year could pay up to $2424 (it depends on income and number of dependents) That number gets carried from Schedule HC to my tax form and added to amounts there to determine my total tax for the year.

    If I didn’t have health insurance and had to pay the extra $2424, I don’t think I would really care whether it was called a tax or a penalty. In either case, it would be part of the check I send to the Department of Revenue (or included in my estimated tax payments)

  125. Dennis Martin says:

    I wish everyone would calm down. I have spent the day reading commentary, begining a few seconds after the first, confusing, reports came out. The commentary was all over the place. The earliest comments were misleading. One has to step back and consider things carefully, not pop off at the mouth.

    All signs point to the dissent as having at one time been the majority. Roberts changed his vote. (He votes last in conference, I’m told.) When they rewrote the majority into the dissent they did not cover all their tracks.

    Why would he switch? If 5 Republican appointed justices had declared Obamacare totally invalid (as the four dissenters did), (1) Obama would ignore it–he has ignored courts before; he would continue implementing it until he was voted out and (2) he would base his reelection campaign on the eeeeeeeevvvvvvvvviilllllllll Partisan Republican Justices who snatched the heaven-sent gift to all the downtrodden right out of their suffering and weary hands.

    Look, folks. We are in a mess. The courts have legislated from the bench. The Democrats have politicized court appointments to the nth degree. The justices are aware of that. Law depends not solely on words but on legitimacy. A five-justice majority striking it down, in today’s POLITICAL climate, sadly, would not have legitimacy for half the population. Of course, our choir would find it perrrrrrrrrrfffffrfeeeeecccccctly legitimate. But that would only prove to the other choir how partisan the decision was.


    Conservatives have lamented how many times the Left has obsstructed the clear will of the people in their legislatures and in referenda by using the courts. As much as I would have liked to see the five justices rule the whole thing unconstitutional, that WOULD NOT HAVE RESOLVED THE ISSUE.

    Roberts has handed us a stake to drive through the heart of Obamacare. But it’s a political stake, the only one that can kill Dracula and keep him dead.

    Some commenters I highly respect think otherwise, including Mark Levin. Had Roberts stayed with what became the dissenters and struck down the whole thing, I’d have rejoiced. But I’d also have been uneasy. Months ago, as this worked its way through the courts I thought to myself, but “can it really, do I really want it to be, laid to rest by SCOTUS?” “Will that really kill it off?”

    The Courts cannot save us, not on this and not on the HHS regs. I expect the HHS “contraception” regs to be overturned eventually. But as long as Statism prevails, as long as we have handed over to the appointed and non-elected bureaucrats most of authority to make regulations (a trend since FDR), THE HHS GOONS WILL JUST TURN AROUND AND WRITE NEW REGS AGAINST US.

    This beast has to be defeated politically. And I am pessimistic regarding the culture, the populace. I’m afraid there just aren’t enough people who even understand the problem, let alone enough cohesion among them, to carry this off politically. I read conservative blog commentary and I see the infighting and bickering, the cries of Roberts the Traitor, may he burn in hell and so forth.

    We are in the fight of our lives, it’s a cultural (and therefore political fight, in best sense of political) and we have to be as crafty as serpents and as gentle as doves. We have to hang together or we will hang separately. Focus the venom and anger being directed here at Chief Justice Roberts on electing a congress and a president who will fight Statism. Focus your energies on teaching subsidiarity, subsidiarity, subsidiarity, subsidiarity, subsidiarity, subsidiarity to your children, your Obama-crazed relatives, your students, your coworkers.

  126. PostCatholic says:

    So many emotional and upset opinions about legal documents that few understand and fewer still have read? How lucky for us that such a thing never happens in religion!

  127. SKAY says:

    Congratulations. I am delighted to know that you are becoming an American citizen. It is clear that you understnad what freedom means – perhaps even more than many who are born in this country.

    Angie Mcs-thank you for your post. We need to be reminded of how easily these things are accomplished by those who want absolute control. I was surprised when I read the book about Bonhoeffer and “bells” began to ring. Still I thought that the Supreme Court would stop what was happening in this administration. The decision today certainly is a wake up call for all of us.
    I agree–this blog is a blessing. Thank you Father Z –and also the other priests who are posting.

  128. guans says:

    God is still in charge and knows what He has just allowed. Everything happens for the best.
    “THY Kingdom come, THY Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
    Romans 8:28
    Jesus, I trust in You, Jesus I trust in You, Jesus I trust in You.
    O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus, as a Fountain of Mercy,
    I trust in You.

  129. Johnno says:

    Oh, PostCatholic? Please explain what your particular opinion is… We’re waiting to hear it!

    Good Peter Schiff Video here pointing out the Court’s failing and misleading arguments.

    Statement by Ron Paul

  130. Papabile says:

    Article 1, Section 7 – Clause 1: All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

    I love it. The Dems only know pure political power. They COULDN’T call it a tax, because the bill originated in the Senate. If everyone remembers, they had to move it under reconciliation in the Senate because Scott Brown was elected on a promise to kill the already passed House bill when he was elected a Senator.

    Then the Dems in the Senate introduced this bill and said it was not a tax. BECAUSE, if it WAS a tax, any member of the House could blue slip it and it would have been dead.

    The Chief Justice calls it what it is today, and we are left with a bill where taxes clearly originated in the Senate, in violation of Art. 1, Section 7, Clause 1 of the Constitution.

  131. Papabile says:

    @chantgirl If you have 50 Republican Senators, and a Republican President, this bill is easily repealable in its entirety under the Reconciliation process – the same way it was passed.

  132. Indulgentiam says:

    Angie Mcs, thank you! i hear you and i understand. the Lord allowed us to survive those times for a reason. we have seen them up close, we know their tactics and we will not let them sneak up on our friends. there is this great line in Lord of The Rings, my sons favorite books and movies, “courage!courage! for our friends” I will say this, it would be so easy, at least for me, to allow the darkness of those times to make me cower in a corner but…we must have courage Angie, courage for our babies and for our friends. your are in my prayers, please keep me in yours :)

    SKAY–thank you for the congratulations and the book tip :)

    Dennis Martin—thank you b/c of your post i am now reading “Quadragesimo Anno” the encyclical written by Pope Pius XI

  133. Gus Barbarigo says:

    The Political Industrial Complex won; we the people lost. Obama gets socialized medicine. Romney gets a campaign issue (which as Santorum pointed out, Romney is ill-equipped to handle).

    Whether Roberts changed his vote because of intimidation from the MSM, or outright blackmail, etc. (cf. what happened to Breitbart), or the RNC whispered in his ear that the switch would help Romney, is ultimately irrelevant. Roberts is another puppet of the “elites.”

    We always contribute, rally, volunteer, hope for a real conservative. We have been sold Nixon, the Bushes, Arlen Specter, Scott Brown, and now John Roberts. Always the “conservatives” cave in, but the Left never does.

    We need a change from politics as usual, or the people and our freedoms are doomed.

  134. Let me rephrase the question:

    Will the taxes of 2014 reference the months of 2013 — as taxes look backward in time — in which insurance was not obtained?

    Since the enforcement of the law is 1 August 2012, will the last five months of 2012 be included?

    Even if Obama is not reelected in November, will he not remain president until the last half of January 2013, and can he not do an untold amount of damage in those months, or at least in the early part of January 2013?

    Is there any limit on draconian measures to ensure compliance? Does non-compliance subject one to the confiscation of bank accounts, siezure of property, and ultimately jail time for contempt, jail time that would be continuous if non-compliance is continuous?

    I wan’t to know what I’m facing for non-compliance, in concrete terms. Anyone?

    Also, isn’t this like a poll tax? All poll taxes are followed by a sharp increase in abortion.

  135. Michelle F says:

    I voted “neutral” because the only thing the court did was decide whether the actions of the federal government are legal according to federal law, and they decided that what the government did was, for the most part, legal.

    This is what I expected to happen.

    The court did not, however, decide on the morality of the government’s actions. In effect, they said the law is legal, so if we don’t like it we need to change it via Congress.

    This was one good thing. The court did not say anything about “rights” but only legality, so the law can be changed without trampling on anyone’s so-called “rights,” such as women’s so-called “right” to abortion.

    So, my vote is “neutral.” The Supreme Court did exactly what it was supposed to do, which is determine the legality of the government’s actions as they relate to the U.S. Constitution. Whether we like the law and keep it, or hate it and get rid of it is up to us as voters, and to the U.S. Congress as legislators.

  136. Dennis Martin says:

    Gus Barbarigo,

    I supported Santorum, thought he was the best of the lot, and I agree that Romney was ill-equipped to criticize Obamacare because of RomneyCare.

    Politically speaking, however, by declaring Obamacare unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause but constutional under the power to tax, the majority opinion hands Romney an opening to dissociate himself from RomneyCare in his attack on Obamacare from this point onward.

    Whether he will do that and whether he will deliver on his promise to repeal, I don’t know. I am not a fan of his. But strong majorities in both houses can help carry through on a repeal.

    Am I optimistic? Not particularly. But we don’t have a lot of options. I repeat, the only way to end Obamacare’s immense powergrab, the powergrab that made Sebelius’s attack on us possible, is via repeal in the legislature, not via a court decision, given today’s political climate. It should not be that way. SCOTUS decisions should all have legitimacy. But the Democrat Party has so totally politicized the court, aided by the supine lapdog press, that some SCOTUS decisions (the ones the Democrats and media like) are more legitimate than other SCOTUS decisions. Five Republican-appointed justices overturning Obamacare would have pitched it back into the political arena.

    Roberts’s decision pitched it back into the political arena.

    Either way we end up at the same place. It should not be that way. But it is.

    The four dissenters disagree. They think the legal right thing to do was to declare it unconstitutional tout court and let the chips fall where they may. They are absolutely right in an absolute sense.

    We live, however, in a world in which the courts have been subverted and politicized. Do we overcome that by being absolutely right or do we overcome that by forcing the people to repudiate Obamacare instead of hiding behind the very skirts of the Supreme Court?

    I don’t know the answer to that question. I can see truth in both answers, that of the four dissenting justices and that of Roberts’s decision to do the tax gamut.

    We are, as I said, in a mess. There’s now sweet and easy way out. A landslide election that of 2010 proportions squared might help get started on the way out.

  137. PostCatholic says:

    Oh, PostCatholic? Please explain what your particular opinion is… We’re waiting to hear it!

    I haven’t really got one. I have excellent private insurance for a very low rate. I am in favor of more people having the same advantage but I am in no way an expert to say how that ought to be done. I have had to see the doctor when traveling in single-payer nations where healthcare was excellent, and I’ve traveled in socialist states where it was a nightmare. How do you think more people could get access to healthcare? Or do you think the system we have now is sufficient?

  138. EXCHIEF says:

    Certainly there are a number of detrimental effects of this ruling not the least of which is the Marxist and his supporters, both within and outside of government, have been emboldened. Thus they will become even more blatant in ignoring the Constitution and in enforcing only laws in which they believe. They will become even more forceful in imposing socialism on this nation and further eroding the rights we have enjoyed since our nation’s birth. Sec State Clinton, with Obama’s full support is, as we speak, negotiating a backdoor way of destroying the 2nd ammendment in this country.

    The ONLY at least partially effective solution is to vote Obama out and insure that the party of death does not control either the House or Senate. As for Roberts he dropped completely off my radar in terms of having any respect for him.

  139. AnnAsher says:

    Avantibev – agreed! BO is billing it as care but it will quickly devolve into the absence of available care. They already have physicians reporting stats on chronic illnesses and obesity. Where do y’all suppose that data leads? Big Brother will decide who lives and who dies. Whether pregnant women with risks or former miscarriages get care. Whether your third child gets care. Whether you elderly incontinent Alzheimer’s mother gets care. It’s a dark day ahead.

  140. Grateful Catholic says:

    To jhayes 28 June 2012 at 8:04 pm:
    My understanding of the difference: a penalty is for breaking the law (a crime) and the Court explicitly ruled this out. The choices are: either buy “qualifying” health insurance or pay a tax to the IRS, where the failure to buy the insurance is not a crime. Some will therefore be grateful for the distinction between “penalty” and “tax.”

    To Holy Souls Hermitage 28 June 2012 at 9:04 pm:
    From Americans for Tax Reform’s website
    Individual Mandate Excise Tax (Jan 2014): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following:
    1 Adult: 2014, 1% AGI/$95; 2015, 2% AGI/$325; 2016->, 2.5% AGI/$695
    2 Adults: 2014, 1% AGI/$190; 2015, 2% AGI/$650; 2016->, 2.5% AGI/$1390
    3+ Adults: 2014, 1% AGI/$285; 2015, 2% AGI/$975; 2016->, 2.5% AGI/$2085
    Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS).

  141. Wolfsbane says:

    From reading at least the syllabus of the decision (full decision here:, it seems that the prospect of judging the ACA unconstitutional was doomed from the start. One of the precedents mentioned by the Court includes this principle: “When a court confronts an unconstitutional statute, its endeavor must be to conserve, not destroy, the legislation.” The Court’s duty is “to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void,” since “no legislative act…contrary to the Constitution, can be void” (Federalist LXXVIII). It is not the Court’s role to decide what to do with an unconstitutional statute, but merely to judge whether it is constitutional or not. It seems to me, with this principle, that the Court was not even planning on exercising its true judicial authority. I might be misunderstanding this, since I am in no sense a lawyer or politician, but it seems like, from the Court’s view, a law can never be unconstitutional: it just has to be altered, or have its understanding altered. It seems that, according to the Founding Fathers, the Court is failing in its duty if it does not even try to judge laws as unconstitutional. “A constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges as, a fundamental law…If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between [the constitution and an act proceeding from the legislative body]…the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute” (Federalist LXXVIII). If only the Court still held this.

  142. Angie Mcs says:

    How kind of you to keep me in your prayers, as I will surely keep you in mine. Lord of the Rings is also one of my childrens’ favorite books, a fantasy, yes, but Tolkien knew the power of unstoppable determination, even one small step at a time, and as you say.: courage!

    Please pray for your new country tomorrow.

  143. frjim4321 says:

    I was pleasantly surprised that a ruling based on constitutional principals was still rendered in spite of the political loading of the matter. I was personally pleased at the outcome but sad that some friends are so upset by it. Generally I think that the Affordable Health Care Act (often wrongly termed “Obamacare”) is a good thing for the country. But I think it has been so contentious that it will take a few months for the naysayers to get used to the idea that the law is indeed valid.

  144. Peter Rother says:

    Perhaps we should levy a penalty (oops, I guess I meant to say a tax even though I used the word penalty) on all abortions to support stay at home mothers who actually care for children.

  145. Johnno says:

    frjim4321, please explain how this law is valid? You can start by addressing the concerns Peter Schiff brings up about the contradictions inherent in the Supreme Court Decisions:

  146. Thanks Grateful Catholic.
    I won’t be paying the $95.00.
    I suppose I’ll close my bank accounts in the last days of 2013.
    Saint Benedict Joseph Labré, pray for us!

    Health care will be worse, more expensive, with less beneficiaries.
    Babies will continue to be murdered in the womb – more than ever – along with the just born.
    The handicapped and the elderly will be euthanitized.
    Prisoners will have no healthcare.

    There will be priests like the Venerable Servant of God, Father Michael J. McGivney, who will be raised up to take care of the needs of the needy, and there will be liberal priests who couldn’t care less, even while spouting off concerns for social issues, and while condemning the Father McGivneys for the work they will do.

    By the way, with an impending economic catastrophe, does anyone think that there will not be health care rationing?

    In religion, fidelity is the condition sine qua non.
    In government, subsidiarity is the condition sine qua non.

    Fidelity! Fidelity! Fidelity! /// Subsidiarity! Subsidiarity! Subsidiarity!

  147. TZ says:

    amsjj1002, here is a direct link to the SCOTUS opinions:

    The majority opinion makes no apology in reformulating the penalty as a tax. In their joint dissenting opinion Justices Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, and Alito plainly state the Act is invalid and why. But I suspect neither side believes the law will survive challenges in its application. Reportedly the Obama administration added a cursory defense of the penalty as a tax after the fact–they don’t seem to have considered this possibility seriously. (Anybody still thinking B.O. taught constitutional law in Chicago? The thought becomes more ludicrous every day.)

  148. q7swallows says:

    I always wondered what it would feel like to be on the faceplant side of a a rotting civilization (like Rome on the cusp of the ‘Dark’ Ages).  

    Now I do.

    It’s like being on the diving end of the Titanic. And seeing sharks in the water.

  149. chantgirl says:

    So, since SCOTUS has ruled the mandate a tax, does that mean a simple majority can slap down the mandate? Would it take a simple majority to take down the whole law, or just the individual mandate? Does this also mean that the HHS contraceptive mandate is also a tax which could be struck down by a simple majority in Congress?

  150. Warren says:

    At first I was completely riled about the decision.

    However, after reading the opinion by Chief Justice Roberts, and many legal takes on the decision, I have come to understand that the (policy) battle may have been won by Obama, but the war (for freedom) has been won by Roberts and the American people.

    To quote one writer: “Roberts’ genius was in pushing this health care decision through without attaching it to the coattails of an ugly, narrow partisan victory. Obama wins on policy, this time. And Roberts rewrites Congress’ power to regulate, opening the door for countless future challenges. In the long term, supporters of curtailing the federal government should be glad to have made that trade.”

    Another writes: “…Roberts has curtailed the commerce clause as an avenue for Congressional overreach. In so doing, he has affirmed the Democrats are massive taxers. In fact, I would argue that this may prevent future mandates in that no one is going to go around campaigning on new massive tax increases.”

    And still another: “But by voting with the conservatives on every major legal question before the court, he nevertheless furthered the major conservative projects before the court — namely, imposing limits on federal power. And by securing his own reputation for impartiality, he made his own advocacy in those areas much more effective. If, in the future, Roberts leads the court in cases that more radically constrain the federal government’s power to regulate interstate commerce, today’s decision will help insulate him from criticism. And he did it while rendering a decision that Democrats are applauding.”

    Chief Justice Roberts is one deft chess player. Do not miss the positive implications of his action.

    Contact your elected representatives and demand they get down to business.
    Ready your litigation guns to shoot some holes in the legislation.
    Certain brethren of yours once tossed a whole lot of tea in the sea.
    Make ’em proud and go to war… again… now!
    Oh, and vote Obama out before he tries any more socialist tax-and-spend nonsense on your sorry butts.
    The enemy is already opening up another front in the war.
    Don’t waste time by whimpering and whining or you’ll end up like us Canadians.

    – this public service announcement brought to you by a friendly neighbour to the north.

  151. jflare says:

    I haven’t read any of the Justice’s opinions, but I offer the following thoughts:
    – President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act (PPACA), better know an ObamaCare, seems to me primarily a walking, talking, breathing, screaming DISTASTER. He purportedly intended to reduce costs and better enable sound health care for all. I think the law will mostly reduce the effectiveness of what health care people receive–rationing will be all but inevitable, raise the costs that everyone will pay for the care they receive–not to mention taxes, and generally become all the more abusive of a behemoth of bureaucracy than people will readily admit. We won’t really have much choice. No organization can possibly expect to administer any semblance of care for an entire nation of hundreds of millions of people without effectively taking over whole portions of daily life. It’ll have little choice but to be more or less like the Manhattan Project or the efforts to land on the moon, but dealing with everyday concerns. In twenty years, assuming this law remains standing, we may be wishing for the days when all we had to worry about was a purportedly greedy insurance company denying coverage.

    – I dread the consequences of CJ Roberts’ purported view: If we allow Congress to declare that I can be “taxed” for failing to acquire some sort of service like health care, I can only imagine that they can “tax” me for almost anything imaginable.
    Though it might seem far-fetched, I’d contend that they can now legitimately “tax” me for the fact that I don’t drive from Nebraska to Missouri to buy fireworks. Never mind that Nebraska has banned many kinds of fireworks that I might buy in Missouri, nor the fact that I have little interest in buying my own fireworks at all. By saying that Congress can require me to pay money for something I don’t want, they can require me to pay money for pretty well anything.

    – I’m disappointed with CJ Roberts’ view, but I think we need to consider where he might be going with the logic. So far as I’m aware, a Justice who sits on the Supreme Court ISN’T precisely allowed to make his own judgements of law based on his own personal sentiments. Not quite. I understand the role of the Supreme Court to be to offer judgements based in no small part on the arguments leveled for and against a particular law–or set of laws–throughout the argument process.
    Whether by fair means or foul, we DID allow the Congress to pass this horrid legislation. I gather that the arguments against the Act, while quite pointed about setting serious precedent, did NOT precisely make plain what the Court could do, should do, or even offer alternatives. Nor did anyone else. Not for the purposes of what the law would actually require or allow. Congress, notably, has not passed any legislation for the President’s consideration that even hints at doing something different.

    I think Chief Justice Roberts made quite clear that he felt that his intent to overturn the law, however convenient for many of us, would ALSO provide all manner of ammunition for the Act’s advocates, who would proceed to hammer the Court for some sort of “judicial activism”. In other words, he probably did not feel that he could properly act as a Supreme Court Justice, especially the Chief Justice, by ruling to overturn the law as it stood himself.
    I generally understand that he made quite plain that he felt (feels) the law stinks to high heaven. ..But he’s not requested, as Chief Justice, to declare whether the law will be good or not, his job is to discern whether the law passes muster with the Constitution.
    I suspect he flatly HATES the idea of the mandate and so forth, but wishes to keep the Court from being dragged all the more into the political free-for-all than it has been already.

    – I think we need to do all we can to elect a competent House, Senate, and President in November. I think their first BIG effort needs to be to repeal PPACA summarily and start over from scratch.

    – I think a new healthcare law needs to actually do something to help the system we have work more effectively. Our main problem has been that there’re too many ways that costs rise due to fear of reprisal. If we want to see healthcare improve, we’d be well advised to enable a doctor to act without constant fear of being sued into oblivion.

    – Incredibly, even as this all has been happening, I have begun considering that it might be worthwhile to pursue a career as a doctor myself, though how I’ll pay for such education has yet to present itself. I’ve been re-reading a book about the life of John Paul II (Man of the Century) and I’m impressed by what the man accomplished simply by making baby steps here and there, allowing a tyrant to THINK he had control, but knowing exactly what he could do without being arrested or prosecuted, and doing THAT with all the energy he could. I can’t help but consider that, even if life will be a monstrous pain in the butt, I might still manage to help some people live virtuous lives by offering some form of medical help. Even if the opportunities to solve serious problems might be severely curtailed, people can get to heaven if they’ve had a chance to live and struggle.

    I can’t help but wonder if we, as a nation, have been headed in this direction for decades.

  152. Timbones says:

    As Daniel Webster once said “the power to tax is the power to destroy”. The Court has now accorded the Congress the ability to force us to purchase anything under the guise of taxation. This is statism at its worst, and an ominous sign of worse to come.

  153. Alan Aversa says:

    Robert’s summary:

    The Affordable Care Act is constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part. The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause. That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage in it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.

    As for the Medicaid expansion, that portion of the Affordable Care Act violates the Constitution by threatening existing Medicaid funding. Congress has no authority to order the States to regulate according to its instructions. Congress may offer the States grants and require the States to comply with accompanying conditions, but the States must have a genuine choice whether to accept the offer. The States are given no such choice in this case. They must either accept a basic change in the nature of Medicaid, or risk losing all Medicaid funding. The remedy for that constitutional violation is to preclude the Federal Government from imposing such a sanction. That remedy does not require striking down other portions of the Affordable Care Act.

    The Framers created a Federal Government of limited powers, and assigned to this Court the duty of enforcing those limits. The Court does so today. But the Court does not express any opinion on the wisdom of the Affordable Care Act. Under the Constitution, that judgment is reserved to the people.

    The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit is affirmed in part and reversed in part.

    It is so ordered.

    The summary of the dissenters:

    The Court today decides to save a statute Congress did not write. It rules that what the statute declares to be a requirement with a penalty is instead an option subject to a tax. And it changes the intentionally coercive sanction of a total cut-off of Medicaid funds to a supposedly noncoercive cut-off of only the incremental funds that the Act makes available.

    The Court regards its strained statutory interpretation as judicial modesty. It is not. It amounts instead to a vast judicial overreaching. It creates a debilitated, inoperable version of health-care regulation that Congress did not enact and the public does not expect. It makes enactment of sensible health-care regulation more difficult, since Congress cannot start afresh but must take as its point of departure a jumble of now senseless provisions, provisions that certain interests favored under the Court’s new design will struggle to retain. And it leaves the public and the States to expend vast sums of money on requirements that may or may not survive the necessary congressional revision.

    The Court’s disposition, invented and atextual as it is, does not even have the merit of avoiding constitutional difficulties. It creates them. The holding that the Individual Mandate is a tax raises a difficult constitutional question (what is a direct tax?) that the Court resolves with inadequate deliberation. And the judgment on the Medicaid Expansion issue ushers in new federalism concerns and places an unaccustomed strain upon the Union. Those States that decline the Medicaid Expansion must subsidize, by the federal tax dollars taken from their citizens, vast grants to the States that accept the Medicaid Expansion. If that destabilizing political dynamic, so antagonistic to a harmonious Union, is to be introduced at all, it should be by Congress, not by the Judiciary.

    The values that should have determined our course today are caution, minimalism, and the understanding that the Federal Government is one of limited powers. But the Court’s ruling undermines those values at every turn. In the name of restraint, it overreaches. In the name of constitutional avoidance, it creates new constitutional questions. In the name of cooperative federalism, it undermines state sovereignty.

    The Constitution, though it dates from the founding of the Republic, has powerful meaning and vital relevance to our own times. The constitutional protections that this case involves are protections of structure. Structural protections—notably, the restraints imposed by federalism and separation of powers—are less romantic and have less obvious a connection to personal freedom than the provisions of the Bill of Rights or the Civil War Amendments. Hence they tend to be undervalued or even forgotten by our citizens. It should be the responsibility of the Court to teach otherwise, to remind our people that the Framers considered structural protections of freedom the most important ones, for which reason they alone were embodied in the original Constitution and not left to later amendment. The fragmentation of power produced by the structure of our Government is central to liberty, and when we destroy it, we place liberty at peril. Today’s decision should have vindicated, should have taught, this truth; instead, our judgment today has disregarded it.

    For the reasons here stated, we would find the Act invalid in its entirety. We respectfully dissent.

    I liked Clarence Thomas’s own succinct dissent the best:
    «JUSTICE THOMAS, dissenting.
    «I dissent for the reasons stated in our joint opinion, but I write separately to say a word about the Commerce Clause. The joint dissent and THE CHIEF JUSTICE correctly apply our precedents to conclude that the Individual Mandate is beyond the power granted to Congress under the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause. Under those precedents, Congress may regulate “economic activity [that] substantially affects interstate commerce.” United States v. Lopez, 514 U. S. 549, 560 (1995). I adhere to my view that “the very notion of a ‘substantial effects’ test under the Commerce Clause is inconsistent with the original understanding of Congress’ powers and with this Court’s early Commerce Clause cases.” United States v. Morrison, 529 U. S. 598, 627 (2000) (THOMAS, J., concurring); see also Lopez, supra, at 584–602 (THOMAS, J., concurring); Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U. S. 1, 67–69 (2005) (THOMAS, J., dissenting). As I have explained, the Court’s continued use of that test “has encouraged the Federal Government to persist in its view that the Commerce Clause has virtually no limits.” Morrison, supra, at 627. The Government’s unprecedented claim in this suit that it may regulate not only economic activity but also inactivity that substantially affects interstate commerce is a case in point.»


    Basically, the door is now wide-open for federal “lifestyle taxes.” E.g.: taxes on being heterosexual because that, in many ways, “substantially affect[s] interstate commerce.” Taxes on being with Down Sydrome because those with Down’s Syndrome have a relative “economic inactivity” that “substantially affect[s] interstate commerce.” Taxes on being Catholic because being Catholic includes the refusal to materially or formally cooperate in the abortion and contraception industry, which also “substantially affect[s] interstate commerce.” The possibilities are endless because apparently “the Commerce Clause has virtually no limits.”

  154. This shamelessly irresponsible decision seems like a recipe for mayhem.

    I’ve seen countries fall/rise by way of a coup d’état for less grave reasons.

  155. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    I was pleasantly surprised that a ruling based on constitutional principals was still rendered in spite of the political loading of the matter. I was personally pleased at the outcome but sad that some friends are so upset by it. Generally I think that the Affordable Health Care Act (often wrongly termed “Obamacare”) is a good thing for the country.

    Actually, it’s wrongly termed the Affordable Care Act. As I said before, I resist the half truths and complete lies that come from politicians, their political hacks, and the professional ideologues who work for them (e.g., Axelrod, Feith, Perle). And that included the nonsense from the Bushco chicken hawks about how easy the Iraq War would be.

    But I think it has been so contentious that it will take a few months for the naysayers to get used to the idea that the law is indeed valid.

    Actually, Roberts has simply made the main issue of the 2012 election the same as that of the 2010 election. He’s saying: If people don’t like this law, let them elect others who will change it.

  156. ObamaCare transformed into something worse: SCOTUScare, perhaps better written as ScotuScare

  157. Papabile says:

    @frjim4321 I am still trying to figure out how a revenue raiser that originates in the Senate doesn’t violate Article 1, Section 7, Clause 1. It’s pretty clear it originated there under all historical precedent. When the minority tried to blue slip it in the House, they were told they couldn’t because it was a penalty and NOT a tax. now we know different.

    But now we will be able to blue slip this type of stuff in the future. That’s a small upside, but a good one.

  158. Kerry says:

    Unless and until someone can ask the Chief Justice what was on his mind at the time, all speculation remains speculation. However, what Dennis Martin said. And it seems to me there is one true thing about the Mighty Kenyan, he needs enemies to run against. Even he is not such a great liar that his acolytes and supplicants will believe him if he attacks the court. After all, they gave him what he wants. I think one of his base motivations and urges is the destruction of the institutions of the Republic. One wonders if he is not a bit disappointed; a few paper bags of dog droppings have been taken from his arsenal. And Kenyan-care can now be voted out with only 51 votes in the Senate. Under a commerce clause interpretation, it would take 60 votes. So while the Chief Justice’s silence holds, and his motives are unknown, there are reasons for optimism.
    I also agree with Holy Souls Hermitage. (We all might have to suffer the stripping of our garments.)

  159. Dan says:

    A few observations:

    1) Before you opine on Roberts’ opinion, you should actually read it.

    2) Roberts DID NOT accept Obama’s commerce clause argument, which, if upheld, would have permitted massive government intrusion into almost every aspect of a person’s life. Roberts rightly saw through the administration’s charade and definitively held that the federal government cannot use the commerce clause (which is the basis for most federal, domestic legislation) to regulate individual inactivity no matter how great of an effect it has on the economy. This solidifies the federalist gains made by the Court in the 90’s.

    3) Although the mandate was upheld, it was upheld as a TAX. This is great ammunition for November, considering that Obama claimed again and again that “this is not a tax.”

    4) I don’t see how Roberts being Catholic should have anything to do with his decision in this, or any other case. Justice Scalia, the most visible Catholic presence on the Court, repeatedly insists that his faith has nothing to do with his legal analysis…and I believe him. Thankfully, originalism and Catholicism are very compatible! Scalia has said that if he were ever forced to come to a legal conclusion that violated his conscience, he would resign. That is the correct position for a Catholic Justice to have. If we expect Catholics to vote thier faith on the Court, then how can we not expect liberal justices to do the same? (even though they already do) But nevertheless, the principle remains.

    In this particular case, the Court was only considering whether the mandate was constitutional under the Commerce or taxation clauses of the Constitution, and whether the medicaid expansion was an impermissible comandeering of state governance to achieve federal regulatory goals. None of these have to do with defined faith or morals. Roberts is no less of a Catholic for coming to the conclusion he came to. His job requies that he consider all possible interpretations of a law before declaring it unconstitutional, and that’s what he did. We may not agree, but as he said in the opinion, it is not his job to protect the people from their political decisions (p. 6).

    He did his job, and I think he did it well. Now its our turn.

  160. Dan says:

    And I should add, the Court was NOT considering the HHS contraception mandate…that issue will likely come before the court after federal appeals courts have had their say. Given that none of the cases have been resolved at the district court level as of yet, it will probably be a while before SCOTUS even considers it.

  161. Sissy says:

    Papabile said: “@frjim4321 I am still trying to figure out how a revenue raiser that originates in the Senate doesn’t violate Article 1, Section 7, Clause 1. It’s pretty clear it originated there under all historical precedent.”

    The bill was a “shell” bill moved over from the House (I think it’s designation was HR3200). The provisions were stripped out and ObamaTax was inserted. Technically, it did originate in the House. This trick has been used before, so the Court was unlikely to call the administration on it. The issue wasn’t raised by the plaintiffs.

  162. Sissy says:

    frjim4321 says:
    “I was pleasantly surprised that a ruling based on constitutional principals was still rendered in spite of the political loading of the matter. I was personally pleased at the outcome but sad that some friends are so upset by it. Generally I think that the Affordable Health Care Act (often wrongly termed “Obamacare”) is a good thing for the country.”

    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt Fr. and assume you are uninformed about the provisions of this bill. If you had any idea what lies ahead for the defenseless on either end of the age spectrum, you would be horrified. I feel sad that someone in your position of authority and influence is so ignorant about something so consequential to millions.

  163. Jeff says:

    I have to completely disagree with Mr. Krauthammer. The purpose of the SCOTUS is to judge the constitutionality of the law that is going up before them. Chief Justice Roberts did not stay true to his word when he said he would uphold the constitution. What is the purpose of having a SCOTUS if they are just going to reword a given argument going up before them? Seriously, if a law is unconstitutional (which Obamacare still is) SCOTUS’s job is to say so and then strike it down.

  164. Scarltherr says:

    If we look at our nation’s history of things that people are compelled to pay for through taxxes, we see an ever increasing pile of legislation that leads to really bad government-run programs. We can start with compulsoryeducation run by the state and funded through taxes. We can move through welfare and food stamp programs. We can continue with amtraak and the DMV. Government take over in our country are already cradle to grave control over the most important parts of our lives; from teaching us what to think, to telling us what to eat and where to live. The Obama care ruling simply allows the government to determine who is in the cradle and who is in the grave..

    Elections matter. This must be stopped.

  165. DisturbedMary says:

    Congratulation Saul Alinsky. Oh and “lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history… the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”

  166. Am I wrong in thinking that the HHS mandate is NOT another issue altogether? Is the HHS mandate not part of Obama/SCOTUScare? The POTUS cannot be coerced into hearing any religious freedom cases in this regard, or am I wrong? This may be the last that is heard of this from the SCOTUS, which is expressly looking for a political solution, right?

  167. dervorin says:

    Thank you to Dan for explaining exactly why all the hate directed at Roberts (and I’m sad to say it really is hateful) from conservative and even some Catholic outlets is entirely unfounded and unfair.

  168. Centristian says:

    “…all the hate directed at Roberts (and I’m sad to say it really is hateful) from conservative and even some Catholic outlets is entirely unfounded and unfair.”

    Oh, well, imagine that.

  169. Dan says:

    Holy Souls,

    You are correct that the HHS mandate does indeed stem from the larger PPACA (“obamacare”) legislation. The plaintiffs in the cases the court just decided, however, were not challenging that aspect of the law (nor could then, since it was just finalized in January). Because the court cannot consider issues beyond the scope of what was argued below, the HHS mandate never played into thier analysis.

    There are currenly numerous federal lawsuits pending across the country, filed by the Becket Fund, Jones Day, and other firms. If and when those reach the Supreme Court, the justices will consider whether the mandate is an impermisible burden on religious exercise. That is a very different issue than what the court decided yesterday.

    So , while the court did suggest that we need to look to political remedies to overturn Obamacare as a whole, it did not foreclose future challenges brought agaisnt other provisions of the law for different reasons.

  170. M.D. says:

    RE: Scalia

    One thing we can learn from Employment Division v. Smith – Scalia, appears to agree with Obama that religious exercise (conscience protections) is a privilege that is accommodated by government.

    Professor of Law at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

  171. pjthom81 says:


    Here’s a better idea. Hand health insurance and care over to the non-profits (including of course, the Church). Use Germany’s system as a model instead of Canada. Keep that in mind on one end and Chile’s more free market system on the other. Discuss and change accordingly…over time and not in one fell swoop.

  172. Micah Murphy says:

    I’m trying to understand something here. We pay taxes that cover abortions, but we have no guilt because it’s so indirect. However, if we get an insurance plan with an abortion surcharge, then we have guilt because it’s direct. Two scenarios:

    1. What if we get an insurance plan that doesn’t have an abortion surcharge?
    2. What if we drop insurance and have to pay the penalty “tax”?

  173. @Dan “the justices will consider” & “did not foreclose future challenges”

    In other words, they might well not hear such 1st ammendment cases, right? What we have now is an event that is being transformed into political fodder for the candidates. The battle until November will be so heated, offering solutions, or not, that the SCOTUS will gladly sit back.

    Although the individual mandate doesn’t kick in for another 18 months, and while Catholic institutions can “think about it” for another 13 months, what about secular corporations headed by conscientious Catholics? Will they be required to provide government approved abortifacient insurance on 1 August 2012? Would any possible decision by the SCOTUS come before that?

    Am I wrong on these dates?

  174. Johnno says:

    15 Reasons Why The Obamacare Decision Is A Mind Blowing Disaster For America

    ^ More at link

    #1 According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the federal government has the power to force you to buy private goods and services. Now that this door has been opened, what else will we be forced to buy in the future?

    #2 Obamacare is another step away from individual liberty and another step toward a “nanny state” where the government dominates our lives from the cradle to the grave.

    #3 The IRS is now going to be given the task of hunting down and penalizing millions of Americans that do not have any health insurance. In fact, the Obama administration has given the IRS 500 million extra dollars “outside the normal appropriations process” to help them enforce the provisions of Obamacare that they are in charge of overseeing.

    #4 Obamacare imposes more than 20 new taxes on the American people. You can find a comprehensive list of Obamacare taxes right here. If you love paying higher taxes, then you are going to absolutely love Obamacare once it is fully implemented.

    #5 In an attempt to “control costs” and “promote efficiency”, Obamacare limits the treatment options that doctors and patients can consider. This is likely to result in a decrease in life expectancy in the United States.

    #6 Obamacare is going to impose nightmarish paperwork burdens on doctors, hospitals and the rest of the healthcare system. This is going to significantly increase our healthcare costs as a nation.

    #7 Obamacare is going to send health insurance premiums soaring. This is especially true for younger Americans.

    #8 Many small businesses are going to be absolutely crushed by the provisions in Obamacare that require them to provide expensive health insurance coverage for their employees. This is going to make them even less competitive with companies in other countries where businesses are not required to provide healthcare for their workers. This is also going to make it even less attractive for businesses to hire new employees.

    #9 Obamacare is going to make the emerging doctor shortage in America a lot worse. Surveys have found that we could potentially see hundreds of thousands of doctors leave the medical profession because of Obamacare.

    #10 Obamacare has already forced the cancellation of dozens of doctor-owned hospitals.

    #11 Obamacare is going to result in a much bigger federal government. In order to fully implement all of the provisions of Obamacare, hordes of new government bureaucrats will be required.

    #12 Thanks to Obamacare, you are going to have to wait much longer to see a doctor. Just look at what happened once Romneycare was implemented in Massachusetts….

    In fact, we have already seen the start of this process in Massachusetts, where Mitt Romney’s health care reforms were nearly identical to President Obama’s. Romney’s reforms increased the demand for health care but did nothing to expand the supply of physicians. In fact, by cracking down on insurance premiums, Massachusetts pushed insurers to reduce their payments to providers, making it less worthwhile for doctors to expand their practices. As a result, the average wait to get an appointment with a doctor grew from 33 days to over 55 days.

    #13 Obamacare contains all kinds of insidious little provisions that most people don’t even know about. The following is one example from the Alliance Defense Fund….

    “Did you know that with ObamaCare you will have to pay for life-saving drugs, but life-ending drugs are free. One hundred percent free. If this plan were really about health care wouldn’t it be the other way around?”

    #14 As if the U.S. government was not facing enough of a crisis with entitlement spending, it is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls. You and I will be paying for all of this.

    #15 The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Obamacare will add more than a trillion dollars to government spending over the next decade. Considering the fact that the U.S. government is already drowning in debt, how in the world can we afford this?

    [Have you noticed how long your comments often are?]

  175. chantgirl says:

    Holy Souls Hermitage- as far as I’m aware, any of us who do not work for a religious institution will face the contraceptive mandate in August. This is the source of my dilemma, because the earliest that any new Congress and administration could get to this would be January of next year (assuming we vote in pols who will take on the health care bill). Even though my husband’s employer pays for our healthcare premiums, I still feel that it’s wrong for someone to pay for abortifacients for someone else on my behalf. I doubt that the HHS mandate case will get to the SCOTUS before Jan. 2013, so I’m looking at a minimum of 6 months worth of subsidizing someone else’s contraception and abortifacients. Somehow I don’t see “but I didn’t directly pay for someone’s serious sin, I only allowed someone else to pay on my behalf for someone’s serious sin” to pass muster at the Judgment Seat. This is different from the Federal Govt. subsidizing contraception and abortifacients through money to Planned Parenthood, because most of us have no choice whether we pay taxes because we aren’t self-employed. We DO have a choice as to whether we pay into this evil HHS mandated contraception. So do I keep my insurance hoping that six months down the line all the stars will align and the bill will be repealed?

  176. joan ellen says:

    I am not able to comment on the decision. I did not approve. After reading comments on Fr. Z’s blog, I am doing more reflecting. I appreciate the positive tone of devorin at 4:44 pm -6/18-. I share with Holy Souls and some of the others, the practical concerns of not having a “qualifying” insurance that also protects conscience, and the fine/tax consequences for non-compliance. Earlier today, I emailed the USCCB:
    “I am looking for Mennonite/Amish-like Catholic Health Insurance. Do we have a self-insuring Diocese (or group of Dioceses) who can provide that product/service to an individual Catholic as a conscience protection. Thanks.”
    To have Mennonite/Amish health insurance one must be a registered Mennonite/Amish and conscientious objector…not willing to ever take a life. Since they do/can not have 7 Sacraments at this time, a faithful Catholic would not wish to register to get the insurance. A Mennonite/Amish-like Catholic Health Insurance Plan might be a “qualifying” insurance with conscience protection, to hopefully eliminate the non-compliance problem.

  177. Sissy says:

    It is entirely possible to feel aghast and dismayed by CJ Roberts’ bizarre opinion (4 of his fellow Justices certainly did) without “hating” him. His opinion deserves the anger response it has provoked. Any reading of his opinion that gives solace to those who love our Constitution is misguided. Those who celebrate his supposed narrowing of the Commerce Clause have not noticed that not a single Commerce Clause case was overturned yesterday. We are no better off today than we were last week in that regard. CJ Roberts refused to open the window wider, but he did not close it. He deserves no accolades on that account.

    OTOH, Congress now has a vastly expanded field of regulation and persecution available to them in the area of taxation. Where he failed to close the CC window, he has thrown wide the taxation door. Whether he intended it or not, CJ Roberts has now handed Congress a unlimited power to interfere in the lives and property of all American in heretofore unimaginable ways. The power of the tax can now be used to pressure and persecute all manner of disfavored behaviors. If you have more children than Congress thinks you should, you can be taxed. Homeschooling? Taxed. And this is now the law of the land until yesterday’s ruling if overturned or a Constitutional Amendment closes the door.

  178. Papabile says:

    @ Sissy Thanks for correcting me. I

    have to admit, when I am wrong, I’m wrong. It was an H.R. that was used as the shell. Believe it or not, I worked for 14 years in the House, a couple years doing House Rules Committee…. am very familiar with Deschler’s Precedents and Jefferson’s Manual, etc…..

    And I made the most basic newbie error….. I forgot to review the legislative history. I simply forgot this detail. I forgot they had used an HR as a base text for the reconciliation bill and with the amount of information that I data dumped from my head on a weekly basis — that was part of it. You are entirely correct.

    No revenue raiser violation. I reviewed my notes, and I did help prepare a blue slip to be vetted by the Parls, but it became irrelevant precisely for the reason you pointed out. Those were long days in the House and I forgot that detail.

    Mea maxima culpa.

  179. Dan says:

    Holy Souls,

    No, you’re not wrong on the dates- I’m just saying that the timeline for SCOTUS to consider the 1st amendment challenges to the contraceptive mandate will be somewhat protracted, given the fact that no federal district court (the lowest level in teh federal court system) has yet ruled on it. The first amendment issue raised by Catholic (and other) plaintiffs in the contraceptions cases is distinct and different from the individual mandate and medicaid challenges that the court decided on yesterday. While these decisions have paved the way for the law to be implemented on schedule, people are free to challenge other aspects of teh PPACA, like the contraceptive mandate, as they wish.

    This is very similar to the Arizona case- although the Court upheld the “show me your papers” provision, it noted that other challengs to the law may arise. Same here.

    Hopefully, a district court will issue an injunction against enforcement of the contraceptive mandate as applied to one of the plaintiffs in these cases (which is the proper remedy under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act). That will prevent enforcement, as applied to that plaintiff, and will almost certaintly guarantee a government appeal. Once the circuit courts of appeal have sorted this out, SCOTUS may consider it (remember, they can decide whether or not to take an appeal).

    Bottom line, the contraception mandate is a seperate issue that will be decided later. In the meantime, the government will try to enforce it, except in such cases where district courts considering these cases issue injunctions barring them from doing so.

  180. Johnno says:

    Judicial Watch Statement on Supreme Court Obamacare Decision

    “This Supreme Court majority rewrote Obamacare and then upheld its constitutionality. This decision is monstrous and upends the constitutional limits on federal power. That the Chief Justice would join the Court’s liberal block to legislate from the bench is shocking. Instead of calling the law Obamacare, we can fairly call it “Robertscare.”

    Justice Kagan’s controversial decision to participate in this case despite unanswered questions about her role in defending Obamacare while working in the Obama administration also taints the High Court’s decision.

    The Court’s decision will contribute to the public’s concern that our government is out of control and acting without constitutional authority. The rule of law suffered a stinging blow today.”

  181. Gus Barbarigo says:

    @ DisturbedMary:

    Your Alinsky reference is on the money, and should be “game, set, match” against any argument for supporting Obama.

  182. Christopher says:

    It is not looking good for the USA.

    God Bless.


  183. JKnott says:

    Prior to the health care decision there were several reports of Obama’s intimidation of the court. Maybe threats might be a better word. Perhaps in the all too real world of Chicago style Saul Alinsky practices, Roberts feared for his family. In any case, it seems to be the “Catholics” in our government who have had the most expansive influence to the negative. I forget where in the OT maybe Isaiah, it says: “I received these wounds in the house of them that loved me.” Well Mr. Roberts, join the club.

  184. JohnE says:

    I’m trying to think if there are other “taxes” that you can avoid only by purchasing something. I suppose when you “purchase” a charitable donation, you avoid the tax that would have been assessed on that income. But the tax on that income if you don’t donate it is not considered a penalty.

    I understand the argument that if there is a way the healthcare law can be interpreted so that it is constitutional then that’s the way it should be interpreted. But interpreting what is clearly a penalty and intended to be a penalty to be a tax seems to be a severe case of creative wordsmithing.

  185. Sissy says:

    JohnE: I think the dissent made just that point; what is clearly a penalty has been renamed a “tax” by CJ Roberts, solely for the purpose of trying to avoid finding the law unconstitutional. Renaming it a tax doesn’t change the reality that it’s a penalty for inactivity. In the past, if there was behavior that Congress wanted to encourage, they did so through a tax credit, exemption, deduction, etc….in other words, a reward. Now, they can use taxes punitively to drive us to behave as they wish. There is no reason now why we cannot be taxed based on our weight.

  186. joan ellen says:

    This whole topic is keeping our brain cells active…not only through prayer, but also through conscientious decisions, debate and etc. Lord, help us, please.

  187. Austin Catholics says:

    [Please don’t post links without explanations of what you want people to see. Thanks!]

  188. Supertradmum says:

    Austin Catholics, I cannot believe how dumb some people are. There are no rights for Catholics or Christians in Canada, and the health care system there is nationalized. Why do people think Canada is so great? I lived there for years. The people are not spiritual, except in very small, strong communities, and the large cities have all the problems of drugs, crime, etc. In addition, it is very hard to go there unless you already have a job and are sponsored. One can no longer just cross the border.

    The only difference is that one pays taxes on the health care instead of the 7,000 fee, but it is a backdoor tax. When I lived there, because of my tax bracket for my job, and I had two different ones; one working with Catholic youth and one as an educational consultant, I paid 33% of my wages in taxes. And, my salary was modest.

    Canada is a myth.

  189. The civil disobedience called for by the USCCB means… what… ?
    – – Dumping insurance of employees
    – – Dumping insurance of students
    – – Dumping one’s own insurance
    – – …

    Civil disobedience means mayhem…
    And the bishops are asking for it.
    I sure hope they make a statement on the obligations of civil disobedience.

  190. Dennis Martin says:

    Sissy and others making the argument that this somehow opens up new vistas for taxation. The ruling does not. The imagination does.

    Congress has always had authority to “levy taxes.” Initially no one conceived of that being anything other than customs duties etc. Then someone imagined that it would be possible to tax incomes. There was a debate. It was clarified via an amendment to the constitution. If Congress proposed to tax people based on their weight, it would have to be debated in Congress. If the People via their representatives want it, they get it. Sure, you could challenge it all the way to the Supreme Court. Roberts is saying that Congress’s authority to tax is pretty large as long as it concerns the general welfare. That is not new. Hamilton argued that against Madison.

    One can legitimately argue that Obamacare simply is not a tax and Roberts is wrong to say it is. The four dissenting justices said that. They may well be more right than Roberts. Criticize him for calling something a tax that is not a tax and give you rreasons. But the exact range and type of taxation is not for the Supreme Court to decide. It’s for Congress to decide. If Congress imposes a tax that violates the 14th Amendment, yes, that could be challenged and thrown out. Other examples could be thought of. But broadly speaking, whether Obamacare is good or bad, Roberts is saying, given that it is a tax, rests with the Congress, not SCOTUS.

    If the people believe that it’s wrong to tax someone for not buying health insurance, then they should repeal Obamacare because it’s bad legislation, bad government. Four justices believe it’s not just bad government and bad legislation but that it is unconstitutional because it is not a tax and it can’t be squared with the Commerce Clause. They may be right. Fight Roberts on those grounds. But don’t concede to him that it’s a tax and then say, it’s the wrong kind of tax.

    It may be the wrong kind of tax, if it is a tax, but the decision about whether it’s a wrong or right tax, if it is a tax, belongs to the people via Congress, not SCOTUS.

    I’d have been happy if five justices had declared it unconstitutional because it’s not a tax and it can’t be permitted under the Commerce Clause.

    But they didn’t. Even if they had, Obama would have continued to implement it. The only way to get him to obey the Court’s rejection of it would be to vote him and his party out, decisively.

    The problem with Obamacare is Statism powergrab. The Supreme Court can’t stop that. Only the people rising up decisively to say enough already with the Rule by Bureaucrats at HHS and EPA and Commerce and Energy.

    But too many people are already getting too many bennies from the Bureaucrat Rulers. That’s the issue. Are the people ready to restore subsidiarity even if it means an end to Government Sugardaddy (who is bankrupt anyway)? I don”t know.

    If five justices had ruled it unconstitutional totally, would it have helped make the case against Statism and SugarMommyism and HHS Rule by Regs? Maybe. Or perhaps by labeling it a tax when Obama deceitfully said it was not the Court has helped clarify what’s at stake this fall.

    Subsidarity is hard work and risky. It would be unimaginably hard to implement, were not the alternative, Statist Rule by those Who Hate the Very Concept of God Given Meaning and Nature, even worse.

    The choices ain’t pretty but subsidiarity is the Truth.

  191. rodin says:

    Well, if it is a tax it is a tax on nothing, which is to say if you DON’T buy something it’ll cost ya. So, since the chief equated it with paying a tax on gasoline he also says if you don’t buy gasoline you can be taxed. Any way you look at it we are going to pay dearly. My admiration for the American colonists grows.

  192. Mdepie says:

    This decision was awful. It matters not whether the mandate is a tax or a penalty. ( I have read the opinions and this amounts to a semantic game, indeed it is both since it is a selective tax.) Andrew McCarthy who writes for National Review Online, as well as elsewhere, nails it when he states even as a tax, it is unconstitutional because under our framers vision of limited government the idea was that the Congress would only have the power to impose taxes to fund its enumerated powers. Remaking the health care system is not among these. The real agenda here is not to simply help provide insurance to the uninsured, If that were merely the goal it would have been simpler and probably cheaper to expand medicaid. ( In fact the part of Obamacare that did this was struck down! ) The bulk of the bill involves giving the federal government unprecedented powers to regulate health care in unspecified ways. The bill says literally several hundred times the secretary ( meaning the HHS secretary) will define, declare, determine etc.. It is this nearly dictatorial fiat power that enables Obama to proclaim things like the contraception mandate. God only knows what will come next. I am certain it will be equally toxic, as the agenda of this administration is to remake the United States in ways that will make it unrecognizable. Our only recourse is to remove Obama from office.

    The Democrats must be defeated in November.

  193. rodin says:

    As an addendum, there is a story about Lincoln and his argument during a debate. It seems his opponent was being especially obtuse so Mr. Lincoln asked him, “Sir, how many legs does a cow have?” His opponent replied with annoyance “Four!” Mr. Lincoln then said, “Suppose we say the tail is a leg, then how many legs does the cow have?” “Five,” his opponent snarled. “Now that is where you are wrong,” said Mr. Lincoln. “Just saying it’s a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

  194. I have my thoughts at my blog:, since I didn’t want to write a dissertation on my thoughts on this comment.

  195. Goldfinch says:

    In this case … It’s Bush’s fault!

  196. benedetta says:

    The “silver lining” if there is one to all this is that Congress could apparently tax the heck out of big abortion thereby rendering abortion rarer.

  197. Absit invidia says:

    2 Important things:

    From the wisdom of St. Augustine: “An unjust law is no law at all.”

    Justice John Roberts is a Roman Catholic along with Sonia Sotomayor. They both have been exposed to terrible Catholic catechesis – if they have been listening to the modern American liberation theology and social justice misprioritized over abortion and birth control teachings over the last 30 years of 1980’s lukewarm theology (abortion and birth control both carry heavier weight in the moral scales of justice than advancing people through the social classes of society).

    Sotomayor is a staunch liberal and Roberts – well, I thought better of him until yesterday. So both justices have a conundrum where they stand when it comes to HHS mandate on birth control when it is CLEARLY unconstitutional and unjust. God’s law supersedes man’s. They should know this.

    The unjust part is the most important. Because if a clear injustice contradicts a law – regardless how well intentioned the health law was- it can be no law at all. Roberts clearly dismissed this reminder from our Church magisterium: The US Bishops have issued a declaration of religious freedom which categorically states that Catholics must not obey unjust laws imposed by government.

    The second thing is, if Americans are having a difficult time affording modern health insurance now, then they are going to have an even more difficult time affording health insurance when the added cost of big government bureaucratic administration fees get ladled on top.

    Everybody loses on this deal, especially Catholics.

  198. Jeff says:

    Absit invidia: The Supreme Court didn’t rule on the HHS Mandate yesterday, they ruled on the constitutionality of the government forcing you to purchase health insurance.

    Just thought I’d clarify, unless I misread your post.

  199. Jeff,

    I’m aware of that. By ruling on the constitutionality of the government forcing Americans to purchase health insurance, they are also ruling on the government forcing Catholics to purchase health insurance. It affects all Americans, including us Catholics who have a particular issue with it.

  200. MKR says:

    There’s a pretty easy way to get out of the HHS mandate: Just fire all your non-Catholic employees, and discriminate against potential patrons on the basis of religion. Then you get to count as a “religious institution” as Empress Sebelius defines the term.

  201. Dennis Martin says:

    I urge people to read these two articles. One has been out for a while, the other (Hewittt), just this morning.

    They are pointing out the long-term implications of what Roberts did with the Commerce Clause, how it will affect a host of cases coming up in lower courts–it opens the way to curtail the bureaucratic state on a wide variety of issues. (Hewitt specializes in helping businesses defend themselves against EPA abuse of power.)

    Trende draws comparisons between John Marshall seeming to lose the battle with Jefferson, who got what he wanted, but winning the war in the long terms with regard to the role of the Supreme Court. Hewitt emphasizes that up to four justices, two from each block, may be retiring in the near term, that enormous changes are coming to the Supreme Court and Roberts may have laid a foundation for a court that can actually do something about Statism.

    Finally, he points out that Roberts has given conservatives an argument the next time Patrick Leahy and his ilk try to destroy a Republican president’s nominees to the federal bench. Hewitt claims that the argument that they will be rabid partisans is undermined by Roberts’s decision to uphold Obamacare together with the Democrat nominees.

    Hewitt exaggerates, perhaps. There will be ways for the Statists to counter all these positives. But both he and Trende raise significant longterm issues that we all ought to be pondering.

  202. By the way, where does tax/penalty money go, simply into the general treasury, or is it earmarked to be put right back into the Obamacare insurance fund, or is it all one pot?

  203. PostCatholic says:

    pjthom81, I’m not quite sure I follow your mashup. Non profits, Germany’s system, and Chile? Can you explain what you have in mind?

    I can tell you a few anecdotes. A colleague who’s a freelancer. She moved from New Hampshire to Massachusetts and consequently had to change her health insurance. She said that her deductible went down $2000, her medical coverages expanded, she got full dental, prescription and mental health benefits which she had not had before, and paid about $15 less per month in Massachusetts. So I guess the “RomneyCare” (is that a thing? Are they calling it that now?) that PPACA was modeled along worked for her, at least.

    The best medical attention I ever received was in Norway. By far the worst, Portugal. Both of those are single-payer states enhanced by some private coverages. I came to the conclusion that the national character has a lot to do with the efficiency of a single-payer medical system. Which we’re not going to have with the PPACA, I suppose, but I still think national character has something to do with it.

    I get the Catholic ire at the reproductive health provisions of PPACA, but I don’t think the overall law apart from that is inconsistent with Rerum Novarum, Quadragesimo Anno, and Mater et Magister. What do you think?

  204. Joe A. says:

    As Charles Krauthammer correctly opines, Chief Justice Roberts has fallen into that age-old trap that has ensnared many of our best chief justices. And he certainly was better as an associate justice. His concern and focus is now directed more toward respect for the “institution of the Supreme Court” and the legacy (read historical applause) of “the Roberts Court” than it is directed toward its foundational purpose – the protection of our governing principles laid out in the Constitution of the United States of America. I understand this temptation, expressed in such judicial principles as “judicial restraint” and stare decisis. Sadly, however, the practical result of these “principles” is that bad court decisions are rarely if ever reversed and outrageous overreaches of power by the executive and legislative branches of government go unchecked by the judicial branch. And the result of these failures to act? – A constant progression in degrading the founding principles of this country… For more on this decay and what it is doing to our country, please visit my short essay at:
    Thank you, Fr. Z for providing this forum for the discussion of the critical social issues facing our country. Men of good will unite!

  205. historyb says:

    What I think is that what Roberts did was hand the Presidency to Romney. I believe that he thwarted Obama a few ways by allowing the States to opt out and reiterating the fact that there is no penalty for not paying the tax and Congress can not place the tax under the Commence Clause due to that being un Consistutional.

    By calling it a tax he has exposed Obama’s lies and he did not join the other 3 justices, once Ginsberg realized this she came out with a scathing descent of her own. I think what Justice Roberts was doing was vengeance for how Obama treated the Supreme Court.

    By next year the AFCA will be gone just as Obama will.

  206. Dennis Martin says:


    Andrew McCarthy is one of the legal commentators I highly respect. So is Mark Levin. So I take their critiques of Roberts seriously.

    But note that McCarthy’s latest, at National Review Online, finally takes note of the Hamilton-Madison/Jefferson debate over the general welfare clause.

    In other words, whether Roberts messed up or not is not easily answered. Congress DOES give authority to tax for the general welfare. McCarthy, this morning, is arguing, with Madison-Jefferson and against Hamilton, for a very restrictive reading of the general welfare clause. I tend to agree with him.

    But is it the place of the Supreme Court to decide whether Tax X and Tax C fit within the general welfare clause or not? In some sense, yes, of course. On the other hand, Roberts’s position seems to be, that the Court cannot micromanage that, that the question of which taxes are good and bad, right and wrong, is fundamentally for the political process to resolve.

    He may be wrong about this. But fool or malicious subverter of the Constitution or devilish expander of big government he is not. Mistaken, misguided, perhaps. But so too may be his critics.

    McCarthy is taking a position, politically, on these issues. I happen to agree with him, for the most part. He properly makes his case in the public, political arena. That’s not the same as issuing a ruling as a judge.

    What kind of criterion would one use to restrict the general welfare clause? Well, Madison/Jefferson wanted it restricted to enumerated powers. I’d be as pleased as punch if we returned to respecting the 10th Amendment. But how to get there?

    McCarthy would use this criterion: the welfare state programs do not come under the enumerated powers, so they ought not be supported by taxation. I’d be inclined to agree, since there’s Zero chance that that principle is ever, ever, ever, ever, ever going to be accepted POLITICALLY.

    This is the sort of debate Roberts intended to ignite.

    Looks to me like he’s achieved his, apparent, goal.

  207. Dennis Martin says:

    I should add that McCarthy describes a middle position, that of Monroe. It’s not clear which of the three he prefers.

    More importantly, McCarthy agrees with the position I’ve been arguing on this thread: fundamentally Obamacare has to be overturned politically.
    “The biggest mistake Republicans made with the deeply unpopular Obamacare law — besides funding it even as they were promising to repeal it — was to delegate the heavy lifting of undoing it to the states and their lawyers. Obamacare has always needed a political rejection, not a legal one. So does the whole Obama agenda, which suffers no impediments to federal intrusions.”

    He goes on to say that the Republican elite has basically thwarted the Tea Party congressmen elected in 2010 and appeals to Romney to get a move on it and lead the repeal.

    He’s right about all of that. He still believes Roberts erred judicially, big-time.

    So the dispute comes down to: Roberts believed that SCOTUS overturning Obamacare totally would actually have been ineffective because of the politicization of the Court. McCarthy believes that invalidating would have been valuable and useful though not decisive, that it still would have had to be overturned politically. Roberts apparently believed that the political overturning would be aided by gaining clarity by pushing the ACA into the tax category.

    We’ll never know what would have happened had SCOTUS by a 5-4 vote of all the Republican appointees invalidated Obamacare.

    What we do know is that the political battle which both sides (the conservative critics of Roberts and his defenders) agree always was the only real way to get rid of Obamacare, is now joined.

    We need to focus on that. Romney needs to get religion, even if only as a path to power. (If it is to bring him to power, he can’t just fake it or go through the motions, so by double-effect reasoning, I think it’d be okay if he signs on for that reason. Of course I’d much rather have him and anyone else who wants to, join in fervent real belief in the need to repeal the whole shebang, not just “fix it” as the embarrassingly pathetic USCCB wants to do.)

  208. Dennis Martin says:

    Joe A wrote: Chief Justice Roberts has fallen into that age-old trap that has ensnared many of our best chief justices. And he certainly was better as an associate justice. His concern and focus is now directed more toward respect for the “institution of the Supreme Court” and the legacy (read historical applause) of “the Roberts Court”

    Before you reach a conclusion on this, Joe, I urge you to read the Hugh Hewitt commentary (link in my comment upthread) at

    Hewitt’s point is that Roberts’s concern for the reputation (public perception) of SCOTUS is not just personal vanity. He honestly believes that the Supreme Court cannot do the work of reining in Statism if the trend of the last 20 years (by Democrats) of totally politicizing it continues. Roberts is trying to find an effective path by which the Supreme Court can do it’s constitutional job, which is to umpire between rival constitutional claims, not to legislate from the bench.

    Opponents of Obamacare wanted the Court to get rid of the monster tout court. Roberts honestly believed, apparently, that in the present political situation, after 20 years of politicization of the Court, such a goal could not be achieved but that long-term, a Court that has freed itself from the cloud of partisanship might be able to do even more important “heavy lifting.”

    He may be wrong in these assessments. But those are the issues. His critics need to address the issues in their subtleties. There are no simple answers. I can see good arguments on both sides.

  209. jflare says:

    I must say, I’m pretty surprised to see all the whoopla regarding how Chief Justice Roberts has given in to power (not an argument raised here necessarily, but one I’ve heard these past days), that he failed to live up to the criteria of justice, or similar concerns.

    I wrote before that I think the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (PPACA) an abomination. I still think so. BUT I also think that We, the People, need to take a great deal more responsibility for the Acts (Congress), Statutes (each State), Ordinances (County or City), or other laws that we allow to be enacted that have a legally binding force upon us as citizens.

    I don’t the Court even has the authority to invalidate law as unconstitutional if it’s economically insane. Not unless the persons who make the case against a given law can adequately demonstrate how violating an economic principle will violate the Constitution. Many of us apparently know very well that PPACA will be a disaster when fully enacted.

    We have a responsibility as citizens to see the madness checked at worst. I’d love to see the next Congress and President repeal the entire thing.

  210. Sissy says:

    Dennis Martin: thank you for that response. It was very well-written, and I appreciate your take on the issue of whether this is new form of taxation. I believe what is new is that taxation has previously been understood as having the (proper) purpose of raising revenue to fund government’s enumerated powers. This tax serves the purpose of punishing people who will not conform to the government’s improper attempt to regulate behavior. CJ Roberts has said that the Commerce Clause does not give government the right to regulate this behavior, yet it’s acceptable to punish citizens who do not submit to the unconstitutional regulation. Am I reading it incorrectly? I believe this is Andrew McCarthy’s reading of the opinion also, but I could be wrong. Thanks for your contribution.

  211. Girgadis says:

    There is an old saying that if you want a job done right, you should do it yourself. The failure to address problems that could have been resolved long ago simply opened a wide berth to get this law through. It is plain wrong in my eyes for insurance companies to be permitted to refuse to cover chronic, life-long illnesses (pre-existing conditions) that a person was born with or developed through no fault of their own. Most of us are a catastrophic illness or injury away from bankruptcy. Now we have a health-care act that could force Catholic hospitals to choose closure over being required to participate in immorality. It could have been avoided but it wasn’t, because our elected officials don’t live by the same standards as the people they were elected to represent. They have the best health insurance our money can buy them. How many of us would have received the same level of care that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords did after the devastating gunshot wound she sustained ? I’m happy she was able to get the care that she did, but I’m not foolish enough to believe it’s the same treatment I would have received if God forbid, I had the same misfortune she did.

    The result of turning a blind eye to even the most easily remedied problems is that Obama and the architects of this law took an inch and turned it into a mile.

  212. Sissy says:

    Girgadis said: “It is plain wrong in my eyes for insurance companies to be permitted to refuse to cover chronic, life-long illnesses (pre-existing conditions) that a person was born with or developed through no fault of their own. ”

    That is the nature of insurance. It’s protection against a potential risk, the odds of which can be calculated. Covering medical costs for a known, already-existing condition isn’t insurance. It’s rather like calling the agent to insure your house as it burns to the ground. Yet, insurance companies normally do cover most pre-exisiting conditions after a short waiting period. Even the waiting period is often waived if one is honest on the application. If the condition is so serious and costly that one truly can’t get private insurance, most states offer guaranteed coverage policies. So, this issue is a red herring in most cases.

  213. Meanwhile, paying into the abortifacient mandate is the law right now. So:

    – – Will we pay into it in four weeks time? It all starts 1 August 2012, no? Don’t forget, it doesn’t matter who wins whatever elections: this is the enforcable law from 1 August 2012 until mid-January 2013. From the comments above, I gather there will be no quick decision by the SCOTUS on 1st Amendment aspects of this.

    – – Will we lay the tracks for a smooth ride of the death trains to Auschwitz for the least of our brethren who are do die by way of abortifacients? If we pay into it, we are doing this directly. That’s what the USCCB has been saying, no? Four weeks time, people…

    – – Will we say that it’s better that some kids die than for prized civil obedience to be compromized? Some people think that they are civic minded by directly paying into an abortion insurance fund because, you know, that makes them good citizens (and they don’t get in trouble).

    – – Will we say that the culture of death is too overwhelming, that we can’t do anything about it except for distancing ourselves with some safe participation in a political campaign, proclaiming the lie to ourselves that civil disobedience right here, right now, is tooooo haaaaaaaaaaarrrd, that we are “forced” into paying into the abortion fund for a while (when no one is absolutely forced) but that this is O.K. since we plan to vote for someone else?

    The crippling penalties/taxes, eventually equalling the cost of insurance… are they not meant to break the will of people to resist that which is immoral, so that they will just say: “I might as well get the benefit of having insurance as long as I’m paying so much already.”

    What will civil disobedience entail? Confiscated bank accounts? Confiscated businesses? Confiscated properties in an effort to force you to pay. It’s the IRS which is doing the collecting. There are about 4000 extra collection agents being trained up to assess your compliance or lack thereof. Is anyone ready for any of that? Willing to put up with that? Is there any discussion of civil disobedience going on anywhere?

    Also, again, where would any paid penalties go? Just the treasury? or would those be earmarked for the abortion insurance Obamacare program? Or does it make a difference?

    I am reminded that 1 August was the date when anti-religious freedom laws already on the books went into effect in Mexico back in the day. Then there were the Cristeros of the Cristiada. Hardly an option in the U.S.A., is it? But what will we do regarding the civil disobedience in which our bishops have asked us to participate?

  214. Joe A. says:

    Dennis Martin,
    I have all the respect in the world for Hugh Hewitt but I think he is wrong in his assessment of the outcome of this case and in our chief justice’s role in that outcome. I will agree that it is possible I went too far in suggesting CJ Roberts’ opinion was motivated by a concern for the Roberts Court. I firmly maintain, however, that if his motivation is simply the preservation of the legitimacy and the non-partisan public perception of the Supreme Court then his motivation is misplaced. I insist that all of the supreme court justices including the chief justice have been appointed to serve the constitution and the founding principles of this nation that are enshrined therein. When they neglect this sacred duty in order to preserve the perceived reputation or legitimacy or “political neutrality” of the institution of the supreme court they are in effect turning the constitution on its head. What’s more important, the constitution or the institutions created by the constitution? What happens to constitutional checks and balances when one of the branches of government refuses to exercise its authority out of fear that it will be perceived as political?

    This idea that the Court is an umpire is ridiculous. The Court has an active role to play in the preservation of this country and its founding principles. Ah, “activist court”, you counter. Well, when a Court needs to assert the constitution and assert the freedoms and government limitations contained therein then the court must act, regardless of whether or not the media or the political parties may point to its action as activism and even partisanship. The Court’s duty it to do what’s right, not what the public may perceive to be right. When I worked at the Supreme Court back in the 1990’s, I used to help the justices go through their mail. When a big case came along there were justices who would actually have their mail separated and counted according to the position taken regarding the case. This “voting” was allowed to influence certain justices’ opinions on the case. I found reliance on public opinion by justices repulsive then and I do now. If the public is wrong let us educate the public but in the meantime let the Court do what is right.

    With regard to your other line of reasoning, I am one of those who wanted the Court to get rid of Obamacare. Certainly, I want Obamacare gone because it is bad law. But that is not the reason I wanted the Court to act. I wanted the Court to act because Obamacare is unconstitutional. I wanted the Court to act because its failure to do so leaves the judicial and executive branches of the national government unchecked in their continual arrogation of power. Unless this tide is stemmed states’ rights, individuals’ rights and families’ rights will be a thing of the past in short order.

    As many commentators in this thread have pointed out, the way to deal with Obamacare is now political. I totally agree, and I’m on board. Let’s get with it. In fact, the whole Obamacare debacle should never have arisen if we had done a proper job of forming ourselves in our voting in 2008. But I’m going to make this one final point with regard to the Court – it’s reason for being is to serve the founding principles of this country as they are enumerated in the Constitution. Therefore, when the political process fails and the people elect misguided individuals to the executive and legislative branches the judicial branch is there to curb overreaches by those other government branches.

  215. Scarltherr says:

    I appreciate the civil and reasoned tone of the comments here. I spent some time yesterday seeing some of the most vile comments on my blog that I’ve ever experienced in my life, and as a former public school teacher and current college instructor, that’s saying something. While I appreciate those who are trying to put a silver-lining in this tornado, it seems that the vitriol, in light of their victory, says a great deal about the evils of this ruling. The swear words and nasty we-shoved-this-down-your-throats-so-get-ready-to-be-silenced comments on other blogs are truly frightening. I found myself changing my comments rules so that my mother and her friends aren’t afraid for my safety. I can only describe the deleted comments as pornographic and demonic. Has anyone else experienced the same thing? The article I wrote can be seen at: and is ‘Rugged Individualism, R.I.P.’

  216. Sissy says:

    Holy Souls Heritage said:
    “Meanwhile, paying into the abortifacient mandate is the law right now.”

    This is my main concern right now. I would love to see some guidance from the USCCB on how we are supposed to deal with this in the near-term.

  217. Sissy says:

    Scarltherr: I enjoyed your blog entry; thanks for linking it. Some of the abusive comments posted there were truly horrifying. It tells me that we are fighting not people or ideas, but evil powers and principalities.

    JoeA: I think you and other commenters are correct that CJ Roberts was unduly concerned with the prestige of the institution of the SC. He has a reputation of being overly-deferential to the idea of state decisis. Giving deference to terrible decisions like Roe v Wade simply because “that’s what the Court decided” is absurd. By that reasoning, Plessy v Ferguson would still be good law. CJ Roberts has stated himself that he would not overturn a bad law like Roe because it is “settled law”. How can an unjust law become just simply by the passage of time? So, I think it is fair to surmise that CJ Roberts might care more for the esteem in which the Court is held than he does for ensuring justice.

  218. frjim4321 says:

    This string is too long for my BlackBerry to handle.

  219. Scarltherr says:

    Thanks Sissy, th worst ones were permanently deleted and can’t be viewed. I agree, this is a fight against the powers of darkness. God bless and strengthen us.

  220. For a glimpse of what life will be like with the IRS starting in four weeks, here’s a scarey article from FoxNews, really scarey:

    The Lord said, be not afraid. So, no fear. Just a bit shocking. This is not the America I know. This reads like a totalitarian police state.

  221. poorlady says:

    We’ve just had a vicious storm here, knocking out power, and felling trees–one of which is outside my porch. This news, which I just heard this morning, makes me think we are already “dead in the water”, as far as what we used to know as a nation, when it comes to religious freedom. An entire generation has passed, that has accepted secularism so deeply, that our beliefs look like “superstition.”
    @taad–You are right about what Our Lady said, we will have only the Holy Rosary to help us. I have read about Maria Simma’s writings about the Poor Souls, who have said that we can expect to see “altars overturned”.
    I don’t mean to scare anyone, but we have a tremendous spiritual battle before us, and we will need to strengthen our churches in the face of this. Our priest once said that we brought this on to ourselves, because Catholics have been contracepting and aborting for years. Some I know have boasted of going against other beliefs in the Church and have scorned me for telling them so. Our decisions have given a loud message to people like Sibelius and Obama–“compromise”.

    Sorry if this is too long. We need to return to a more devout community life, even as we fight this nightmare.

    One more thought: Our nation is in deep debt, as it is. Can this situation truly get bad without an “implosion”, so to speak? Economically, we are in such deep trouble, that Obamacare will only hasten the complete break up of our country. Pray the Holy Rosary, and Saint Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us!

  222. joan ellen says:

    Dennis Martin, et al. Thanks, and Fr. Z.

    The SCOTUS has a decision on Obamacare.

    The Congress awaits our petition for a repeal of Obamacare.

    What is the likelihood of a repeal? Short term, long term? Obamacare with a President Obama in November, (about 4 months away) probably remains, and Obamacare with a President Romney, author of Romneycare, of which Obamacare is patterned after, does not?

    In the meantime, August 1st, as Holy Souls has reminded us, is 4 weeks away. What is our plan…of action…pray the Liberty Prayer everyday until the repeal, as well as pray as many other prayers as we can, set an example as individual Catholics with our non-compliance (our civil disobedience) and pay the penalty as outlined above. AND/OR do we also look for “qualifying” insurance plans that is/are acceptable within the legislation? And then support that insurance plan.

    We know the problem(s). Our reasoned solutions can give us “conscience protection” and still be within the framework of the legislation.

    I was taught that “there is more than one way to skin a cat.” I add legally and morally. Who is praying, thinking and working on our solution(s). I submit that I surely hope our Bishops are, as well as others. Does our congress have any discussion, etc. going on at the moment that will address our need for “conscience protection” in this health insurance mandate?

  223. chantgirl says:

    Holy Souls and Sissy, from what I understand, people who use the healthcare sharing programs like MediShare are exempt from the individual mandate. My husband and I are looking into this as an alternative. It would be great if there was a Catholic version of this. I am also friends with some Catholic doctors who follow Church teaching on life issues. I may have to ask them if they would be willing to give me a cash payment deal if I drop my insurance and need to use their services.

    Holy Souls- you’re right that there is a serious temptation for Catholics right now. We only have one month to get our act together before the majority of us will be paying for abortifacients with our premiums. How easy it would be for us to do nothing and hope for a political solution come next year. I am personally hoping for a lower court ruling placing the HHS mandate on hold, but I doubt that will happen in the next month, and in the meantime, I’m trying to make a contingency plan. I guess I’d better hurry and get everyone a checkup and dental visit in the next month just in case. I may also have to get used to the idea of home births.
    I keep coming back to the idea of a Catholic religious order that would provide free healthcare services to those who are truly in need. Perhaps some Catholic docs and nurses might donate some time. If the order were truly supported by donations and did not ask for payment from patients, maybe they would be exempt from the HHS mandates. After all, could the govt. really force people to donate certain services?

  224. joan ellen says:

    Mr. Santorum, please help. We need you!

  225. joan ellen says:

    chantgirl, you seem to be on to it. Let’s keep praying and working.

  226. joan ellen says:

    chant girl…I made an eye exam appointment months ago for July 31 and told the girl it may be the last one for me if I have to drop my insurance.

    Also, one of our priests in the Diocese of Kalamazoo always asks us to avoid unnecessary concerns.
    Upon reflection I decided my necessary concerns are: Health…Food and Exercise, etc., Clothing,
    Shelter, and Transportation as in feet or bike. That’s it. Oh and “conscience protection” in everything I think say and do. Sorry for the side track here, but our choice of food and exercise can/may help us in our choice of insurance or non-insurance, and that is germane. And ultimately our judgment is germane.

  227. Dennis Martin says:

    Joe A wrote: “But I’m going to make this one final point with regard to the Court – it’s reason for being is to serve the founding principles of this country as they are enumerated in the Constitution. Therefore, when the political process fails and the people elect misguided individuals to the executive and legislative branches the judicial branch is there to curb overreaches by those other government branches.”

    Agreed. Please keep in mind that Hewitt’s reading of Roberts’s motivation is premised on the Court being horribly deflected from its purpose by the politicization by the Democrats that began with the Borking of Robert Bork.

    This is a reality. Now, whether Roberts’s way of beginning to undo the damage is correct, I don’t know. I do know that had a POLITICAL correction to the Borking of the judicial system been undertaken–had we voted out the Democrats who have destroyed and abused the judiciary, we wouldn’t be in this mess and SCOTUS could exercise its proper role.

    Perhaps Hewitt (and, if he’s correct about Roberts, Roberts) exaggerates the degree to which the ability of the Court to do what you (and jurisprudence since Marbury) say it should do has been lost.

    I don’t know the answer. It does need to be addressed and would still have had to be addressed had Roberts joined the four dissenters to form a majority, but now the more immediate task is the political one.

  228. There are clearly very talented lawyers reading this post. Tell us:

    Can the USCCB or anyone else request an injunction based on First Amendment rights?

    How to do this? We need to do this now.

    The USCCB might not want to stop the entire law, so they might refuse to do this.

    Who else can do this? Anyone?

  229. Dennis Martin says:

    Joe A: “Certainly, I want Obamacare gone because it is bad law. But that is not the reason I wanted the Court to act. I wanted the Court to act because Obamacare is unconstitutional. I wanted the Court to act because its failure to do so leaves the judicial and executive branches of the national government unchecked in their continual arrogation of power.”

    Agreed. Hewitt agrees.

    I’m trying to clarify what’s at issue. Hewitt and Trende and others interpret Roberts as believing that SCOTUS cannot do those things because its legitimacy has been sapped.

    It’s a question of finding of fact and whose finding is right. Are the courts indeed deprived of legitimacy by the politics of our culture? The Democrats and the media gladly receive as legitimate rulings that agree with their positions. Rulings that disagree with their positions are demonized as illegitimate.

    Now, we might say, “That’s wrong.” “Stop it.” “Obey the Courts.” Of course, when the Court rules in ways we are convinced are wrong (need I write ROE), we say it’s an unjust ruling but we do not attack the legitimacy of the court, we seek, by the proper channels to elect presidents who will appoint justices who will undo the wrong via the legitimate court process.

    But the Democrats have frustrated that recourse by politicizing the confirmation process (Borking). And so we are back to a fundamentally political problem. How much genuine legitimacy the Court has under these circumstances is a really important question. The Chief Justice apparently is concerned about this, though, of course, we don’t know for sure exactly what’s motivating him.

    Let me give a parallel. A lot of us are upset that the bishops have not simply excommunicated the scandalous pro-abortion Catholics who have cause so much harm to the Church and the body politic. But the bishops, although in law they have full authority to do so, in terms of the de facto culture, threw away that legitimacy by not excercising the authority when people still saw them as legitimately exercising it. If they were to exercise it today, the Pelosis and Sebelliuses and, sadly, far too many of the broad spectrum of the faithful who say they are Catholic would in facto disrespect, view as illegitimate such episcopal discipline. The bishops should probably go ahead and do it, as a first step toward regaining legitimacy for their governance. But the exercise of the authority will not by itself restore the legitimacy. The people’s hearts have to be converted.

    So too with the secular judicial system. It depends absolutely on the broad populace respecting the decisions of the court even when they go against them, seeking to overturn unjust/wrong decisions by proper channels, not by declaring the whole system corrupt or racist or Republican or whatever. The Democrats have been hammering away at the legitimacy of the judicial system for decades, saying that it’s racist (Rodney King) or whatever. It’s a very dangerous game they’ve played but it’s been highly successful, abetted by an utterly malfeasant press.

    It may still be the case that Roberts should have joined the dissenters and ruled Obamacare totally unconstitutional. I’m just sayin’ — that in today’s world, when the Court speaks, the populace listens highly selectively and in a highly politicized way. We no longer have an underlying social cohesion that permits a judicial system to do what you want it to do. We are one small step away from complete, unchecked Might Makes Right.

    The Courts are supposed to preserve us from that. But to do that they have to have sufficient popular legitimacy. Do they?

  230. Joe A. says:

    Dennis Martin,
    Amen! Isn’t it amusing that the democrats, who have systematically politicized the judicial branch and who continue to use the judicial branch to impose their political agenda raise the cry of “political Court” when there is a fear that the court might make a step in returning to constitutional principles?
    Now to the work of politics. I do have renewed hope that whatever the flaws of the recent decision, it will have the effect of galvanizing the political movement to to elect individuals to the executive and legislative branches of government who will (a) repeal and (maybe) replace PPACA and (b) appoint good constitutionalist judges and justices to our courts.

  231. Dan says:

    Holy Souls,

    The only way to get an injunction against the enforcement of the HHS contraceptive mandate is to sue under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. This is what the Beckett Fund, Jones Day, and other firms have done for some 50+ Catholic plaintiffs across the country. The Act provides that if a federal law that burdens religious exercise does not 1) further a compelling government interest, and 2) is not the lest restrictive way of further that interst, the plaintiff may be entitled to an exemption from the law.

    Accordingly, any Catholic employer who wants to be exempt from providing “free” contraceptives through thier insurer under the mandate must file a lawsuit under the RFRA in federal district court. The most that can come from a favorable ruling on the matter is an injunction with resepct to the particular plaintiff(s) who are actually suing- if, for example, a district court rules in favor of St. Mary’s Hospital, the injunction only prevents the feds from enforcing the mandate against St. Mary’s hospital. That is why it is so important for every Catholic hospital, charity, diocese, and independent employer to file suit asap.

  232. chantgirl says:

    Dan- so none of these court cases would benefit the individual Catholic who is paying for insurance, only businesses and hospitals and dioceses? Is it possible for a diocese to sue on behalf of the Catholics in the diocese? We can’t each individually sue. Sounds like individual Catholics are on their own, and have few options – civil disobedience or trying to find a plan that is exempt from the HHS mandate.

  233. And individuals? Poor people like me can’t aford to take on the Feds.

    I wonder if the tax/penalty ambiguity was a way for the SCOTUS to skirt around arguments of the ACLJ’s anti-anti-injunction amicus brief:

    In any event, isn’t this all a tax on the exercise of religion as Fr Z has refrased it? Dhimmitude anyone? Taxing a first amendment right just simply ends America. Done. Over. Finished.

    Wishing for a political solution is nice, but it will be six months too late, and that’s if Obama and the Dems are thrown out entirely, and the Republicans act instantaneously.

    Say I did enter an injunction plea againt all the anti-injunction rubbish. How many months would that take? What would the outcome be?

    Meanwhile, I have nothing left. I won’t pay the jizya. Can’t do it. The IRS goons with their new policing powers will be breathing down my neck to pay the jizya. Can’t do it. Did you ever see the IRS do their swat team imitation? Pretty ugly.

    I know you’ll all scold me, repeating that the SCOTUS didn’t cover this aspect because they couldn’t. But when you rule on something you consider rights of compelling interest, no? Freedom of religion is more compelling than Obama wanting to be nice with Obamacare. Roberts didn’t have to wait for other cases to come up. He could just say that he sees himself (without those arguments) that there is a conflict with a more compelling Constitutional right. End of story.

    But we have dhimmitude instead. And what’s the answer to that been throughout the history of mankind? Legal? Political? In history, I mean…

    Saint Francis retained rights for Catholics throughout the Holy Land. We need a Saint Francis today. Of course, the outcome also involved the person to whom he was talking in Constantinople… err…. Instanbul.

  234. bookworm says:

    I’d like those who keep tossing out calls for civil disobedience and going to jail and all that to explain, clearly:

    1) WHAT exactly one would have to do to risk going to jail. Is it merely not having health insurance that gets you in trouble, or is it not paying the tax/ penalty?

    2) WHO is at risk of imprisonment and for what reason. Are the penalties different for individuals who don’t have insurance vs. employers who don’t offer an approved plan? If we don’t know yet, just say so.

    3) WHAT, if any, are the morally acceptable courses of action for those of us who ARE NOT interested in going to jail or becoming martyrs unless it is absolutely necessary, or in turning our spouses and children into martyrs against their will. Heroism is, by definition, going BEYOND what one is obligated to do. If an individual Catholic decides they are willing to risk ruinous fines or jail in order to avoid any hint of cooperation with abortion, that is their choice; and I would regard it as heroic and praiseworthy. But, is someone who has a spouse and children depending on them (particularly if the spouse isn’t on board, and the children are minors who don’t understand and don’t have a say in the matter) really morally OBLIGATED to do the same under pain of mortal sin? I don’t want merely off the cuff personal opinions, I want a solidly grounded interpretation from someone who knows moral theology, knows canon law, and whose advice I can rely upon in good faith.

    4) Is it, or is it not, morally permissible to accept insurance coverage from your employer if that coverage covers abortion or contraception, even though you personally have no intention of ever using that coverage? Many Catholics are probably already doing this, have been for years (if they work for secular employers) and never really thought about it. Is this (as I suspect) an example of “remote material cooperation” that is permissible because it can’t be avoided without extreme hardship? Or is it a sin, and if so, how serious?

    5) A clear explanation of remote vs. proximate and material vs. formal cooperation would also be helpful so everyone knows precisely what we’re talking about. If anyone has helpful links to these topics, I’d encourage them to post them.

  235. Since the USCCB has been pushing for civil disobedience, and they have a certain degree of teaching authority, let’s see what they have to say in the coming days. I’d be happy if people put it to them, urgently. I think it’s clear that they think the insurance fiasco is direct formal non-distanced proximate cooperation in a grave evil. The president of the USCCCB has a blog with an open comments box. He’s been the most outspoken about this.

    And I hope frustration is not directed at the USCCB, or at our moral obligations, or at our Lord, but at Obama, HHS, SCOTUS.

  236. Sissy says:


    1. There doesn’t seem to be any current penalty for refusing to pay the tax. The tax is only for those who don’t have insurance. CJ Roberts noted that it is “unlawful” to be without insurance and “unlawful” to refuse to pay the resulting tax (actually a penalty). However, the tax code provides no consequence for failing to pay. I predict that state of affairs won’t last long.
    2. Imprisonment is not envisioned at this time as a penalty for refusing to pay the tax. See point 1.
    There will be widely different monetary penalties for non-compliance depending on a great many factors. The tax code is being expanded to an almost incomprehensible degree to accommodate the new regime. A whole cadre of new IRS agents have been hired just to administer the tax on those without insurance (or those who insurance policy doesn’t satisfy their requirements). Employers who don’t provide “suitable” insurance will face hefty fines.
    3., 4., 5: These are questions I would like to see answered by the USCCB. My understanding is that all employers will have to begin providing birth control/abortion coverage starting in August. If this is true, it seems to me that dropping insurance and paying the fine (or refusing to pay it) is the only option for religious objectors. I don’t know what moral obligation we individuals with private insurance have.

  237. Sissy says:

    chantgirl, Re: Medishare; thanks for the information. I’ll look into that. Their website says they are NOT insurance. That might mean it would not be accepted by the government. The tax code says the IRS has to approve your insurance as meeting their standards in order to be in compliance. Still, I’d rather use something like Medishare and pay the tax than to subsidize abortion.

  238. bookworm says:

    I would like to see that. Also, I think there needs to be a clear discussion of the moral obligations of an employer who is responsible for providing insurance coverage, vs. those of an employee who merely accepts that coverage as a fringe benefit or compensation for his/her employment. I understand the necessity of not compelling Catholic institutions or employers to PROVIDE abortion/contraception coverage. What I haven’t seen addressed, however, is whether an employee has an obligation to reject that insurance plan and all its good benefits in its entirety even if he/she has no intention of ever using the abortion/birth control benefits, and cannot afford to purchase coverage on the open market.

  239. Sissy says:

    I, too, am concerned about the distinction you raise, Bookworm. I would like a clear instruction from the USCCB regarding the obligation of employees/individuals in regard to their own insurance policies. Are we doing wrong by simply having insurance under these new rules? It appears we will all be subsidizing birth control, including abortions, through our premiums (via the abortion surcharge). I hope the USCCB will address this issue quickly.

  240. Does anyone know what the Christian Brothers Insurance is doing. They have a rather ambiguous statement on their website. They insure almost all Catholic religious in the USA.

  241. chantgirl says:

    Sissy- healthcare sharing groups won an exemption from the individual mandate, although the HHS could probably rescind that decision at some point in the future. You are correct that they are not insurance- people pay in a certain amount each month and then submit their medical bills to be paid out of the pool. Members make promises about alcohol/smoking and pre-marital sex, so these plans definitely aren’t for everybody, but it was the closest thing I could find to insurance, that would placate the Govt., and hopefully help keep a family’s medical bills manageable. Medi-Share is not the only group like this, so due your DD. Anyway, here is a link about the healthcare sharing, the pertinent info is at the bottom.

  242. Sissy says:

    Thank you, chantgirl. That might be the answer for me, at least. I fear that the exemption probably wouldn’t last long if too many people started taking advantage of it! So far, the groups granted religious exemptions have represented a fairly small number of members.

  243. Is there something forbidding the Knights of Columbus from getting into health insurance? Could they avoid the mandate? If so on both counts… wow…

  244. joan ellen says:

    Holy Souls, Sissy, Chantgirl…thanks. So Medishare and Knights of Columbus maybe options…at least temporarily.

    I just had someone on the telephone tell me that my public health insurance premium (State) already pays for contraception, sterilization, and abortion. I have not yet confirmed that. And then she tossed in the idea that my tax penalty money will go to pay for those evils anyway.

    So, am I between a rock and a hard place…wrong if I do and wrong if I don’t? Or do I look at it that I have a choice: to pay for HHS through my insurance premium or not to pay for HHS by opting for the tax penalty instead, and to not pay for HHS means I have no choice in how my tax penalty money is used? And if I have no choice in how my tax penalty money is used, then it is not on my soul? Is that correct thinking?

  245. Sissy says:

    joan ellen, I think the situation now is different in that, currently, individuals pay for their own birth control/abortion, etc , riders. The new law apparently levies an abortion surcharge on every policy. That is the difference ( if I have been informed correctly). Part of the problem with this legislation is that it is so massive and byzantine, practically no one is clear on all the provisions.

    One form of civil disobedience would be to refuse to pay the penalty/tax. There seems to be no consequence for the failure to pay, odd as that seems.

  246. joan ellen says:

    Sissy, thank you for the clarification. But now another question arises. Because of the ‘massive and byzantine’ legislation, are we, for the sake of our soul, to wait to get rid of our insurance until there is clarity, or do we toss the insurance now and pay the penalty as it is ‘due’ on our IRS filing in 2013 for 2012?

  247. joan ellen says:

    Sissy, thanks for making it clear that the civil disobedience begins when we choose not to pay the tax as opposed to my erroneous thinking that it begins when we drop our health insurance plan.

  248. Sissy says:

    joan ellen, that’s exactly what I and many others are trying to figure out right now. I don’t think the penalty/tax comes into play until 2014. But, it appears the mandate that all insurance policies will cover BC/abortion/sterilizations starting in August. I’m going to call my carrier on Monday and try to find out if I have to start paying the abortion surcharge in August. If so, I’ll have to drop it and “divil take the hindmost” as my Irish ancestors might have said. Things are ambiguous now, and we all need better information and clear guidance from the USCCB!!

  249. Girgadis says:

    Sissy said: “That is the nature of insurance. It’s protection against a potential risk, the odds of which can be calculated. Covering medical costs for a known, already-existing condition isn’t insurance. It’s rather like calling the agent to insure your house as it burns to the ground. Yet, insurance companies normally do cover most pre-exisiting conditions after a short waiting period. Even the waiting period is often waived if one is honest on the application. If the condition is so serious and costly that one truly can’t get private insurance, most states offer guaranteed coverage policies. So, this issue is a red herring in most cases.”

    I couldn’t disagree with you more. In what area of healthcare do you work?

  250. Sissy says:

    Girgadis: I’m not sure why it matters in which area of healthcare I work. I’m an attorney and my husband is a doctor, but those facts don’t change the nature of insurance as an industry. Health insurance is a business based on calculated risks that benefits both the insurance company (through profit) and the insured (through covered risks). Which part of my statement do you find objectionable? I have frequently assisted the disabled in finding health insurance for pre-exisitng conditions, so I know it is not nearly as difficult as many think (which is different from saying it’s cheap). Perhaps you are making the common error of conflating “health insurance” with “health care”, two completely different concepts?

  251. joan ellen says:

    Sissy, the below comments support your 2014 penalty/tax timeline. And that all insurance policies will cover BC/abortion/sterilizations August 1st. I also am planning to call my insurance office on Monday and will also drop my insurance beginning August 1st if need be. I’m praying tomorrow and talking at our ‘coffee table’ after Mass with the clarifications we have, thanks to this blog, and I’m going to ask St. Anthony to ‘find’ the clear answers from our Bishops so we can proceed with “better information and clear guidance from the USCCB!!” Thanks, so very much.

    Indulgentiam says:
    28 June 2012 at 9:43 pm
    Holy Souls Hermitage — i hope this helps you.
    How the taxes will affect

    implementation timeline

    #2 talks about penalties imposed by the IRS
    Grateful Catholic says:
    28 June 2012 at 10:13 pm
    To jhayes 28 June 2012 at 8:04 pm:
    My understanding of the difference: a penalty is for breaking the law (a crime) and the Court explicitly ruled this out. The choices are: either buy “qualifying” health insurance or pay a tax to the IRS, where the failure to buy the insurance is not a crime. Some will therefore be grateful for the distinction between “penalty” and “tax.”

    To Holy Souls Hermitage 28 June 2012 at 9:04 pm:
    From Americans for Tax Reform’s website
    Individual Mandate Excise Tax (Jan 2014): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following:
    1 Adult: 2014, 1% AGI/$95; 2015, 2% AGI/$325; 2016->, 2.5% AGI/$695
    2 Adults: 2014, 1% AGI/$190; 2015, 2% AGI/$650; 2016->, 2.5% AGI/$1390
    3+ Adults: 2014, 1% AGI/$285; 2015, 2% AGI/$975; 2016->, 2.5% AGI/$2085
    Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS).

  252. AnAmericanMother says:

    Attorney here, represented surplus lines, reinsurers, medical malpractice carriers, and health carriers for 20+years. Sissy is exactly right.
    Pre-existing condition coverage can be obtained at a higher premium, depending on the severity a much higher premium. But unlimited pre-existing condition coverage with the same underwriting is a fiscal impossibility. That IS like trying to get coverage after you have a wreck or your house burns down – although of course usually the latter are one-time events. If you have lotsa wrecks (and especially if your house burns down frequently) insurers start to get suspicious. We had a plaintiff on a small fire policy one time who had an awful run of luck — she had 6 houses burn in 13 years! (yeah, she torched the place. Defense verdict. Cost our client more to try the case than the face value of the policy. But they wanted to take it to trial to discourage other aspiring arsonists from writing with their company.)

  253. There might not be any surcharge. Instead, depending on the company, the rates may simply go up for everyone. No one has to do a copay. That such things are covered goes into the microscopic print.

  254. Sissy says:

    Holy Souls Hermitage: is there a source that the abortion surcharge isn’t being universally applied to all policies? I’ve seen claims that there will be a surcharge on each policy and opposing claims that this is not true. That’s the crux of the issue for me, and I’d love some accurate information so I can plan accordingly.

  255. SKAY says:

    My understanding is that Muslims have a waiver because they do not believe in insurance. If so-how are they paying for their healthcare in this country ?

  256. Sissy says:

    AnAmericanMom said:
    “But unlimited pre-existing condition coverage with the same underwriting is a fiscal impossibility”

    Just so. I think that may be a reality that eludes a great many supporters of the Affordable Care Act. I wonder if driving health care insurers out of business might have been the point of ACA all along. Pre-exisiting conditions and “affordable” don’t generally go hand and hand. If the insurance companies are forced out of health care, single-payer becomes the alternative.

  257. bookworm says:

    Sissy: I posted on this back in March, but now the link to the actual text of the HHS final rule is broken. But, this is what I recall from actually reading the rule: it stated that IF an approved health care plan covered abortion (meaning that NOT ALL would, necessarily), THEN a separate surcharge of “no less than $1” would be applied to pay for it. And it did say that the surcharge only had to be disclosed once, at the time of enrollment. Its language was not clear on whether one could or could not opt out of it; but it did say that the regulation didn’t supersede other provisions of state or federal law regarding conscience objections. As someone whose day job involves reviewing state regulations and suggesting ways agencies can make them more clear and provide due process to people injured or negatively impacted, I’d say the rule is lacking in that regard.

  258. Indulgentiam says:

    Sissy: ” I’d love some accurate information so I can plan accordingly.”
    Hopefully this may help.
    The Case Against Obamacare: Health Care Policy Series for the 112th Congress

  259. Sissy says:

    Thank you, Indulgentiam. Isn’t it the case that ACA will require all policies to cover birth control, now?

  260. Sissy says:

    According to the link you provided, Indulgentiam, it appears to me that the federally-mandate minimum requirements are universal. So, it appears to me that the HHS mandate that begins in August applies to all policies. If that’s true, everyone will be charged a $1 surcharge to pay for abortions to get around the Hyde Amendment. Does anyone know if this is correct?

  261. bookworm says:

    Sissy and everyone else, DON’T confuse the HHS mandate (which concerns coverage of contraception as “preventive care”) with the $1 abortion surcharge. They are two separate provisions addressed by two separate rulemakings. The $1 surcharge covers abortion procedures that under the Hyde Amendment can’t be federally funded, i.e. surgical abortions — and again, that’s ONLY for health plans that agree to cover abortion in the first place.

  262. I remember something about $1.00 per month, or $12.00 a year.

    Multiply that by 300,000,000 or so. Yikes!

    Not all policies may be clear on this. It might not be in any printed material you were allowed to keep when signing up, but only on forms full of pages of microscopic legal jargon which you signed and returned to the agent. I’m no authority on this. Is anyone? Could anyone be? USCCB?

  263. Sissy says:

    Thanks, bookworm. I have read elsewhere that the abortion mandate is coming down the pike. So, that won’t begin in August, but the mandate of coverage on all other forms of birth control will.

    But, I think the link Indulgentiam provided supports the view that all policies will be required to provide universal coverage, and our premium dollars will be subsidizing birth control whether we are employers or not. According to the Heritage Foundation study, there won’t be plans that offer abortion vs plans that don’t; that’s a thing of the past under ACA. Plans now have to be uniform and universal. If that is the case, I don’t see how any of us can avoid subsidizing birth control, abortion, sterilization, etc. I still haven’t seen any definitive guidance on this.

  264. Indulgentiam says:

    Sissy, sorry i’m cooking dinner to take to a friend tomorrow, almost burnt the thing :/ Your welcome :) yes, it is my understanding that ALL must cover abortion. It is an across the board government takeover of the health industry. Sure you can opt out but its going to cost you, that’s my understanding of it so far. I’m not done reading up on the full implications though. As for the Hyde Amendment perhaps this may will help.

    Funding for Insurance Plans with Abortion-on-demand
    New Obamacare Regulation
    Violates Hyde Amendment
    Remarks by Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04)
    Press Conference at House Triangle
    March 21, 2012
    Abortion is NOT health care. That’s what we said over and over again during the debate over the new health care law. There is nothing benign or compassionate about brutally taking the life of an unborn child through dismemberment or chemical poisoning. Yet our pleas fell on deaf ears. The President would like the American public to believe that his health care overhaul does not subsidize and facilitate the preventable tragedy of abortion, but his actions paint quite another picture.
    Last week while the House of Representatives was out of session, the mass deception of the Obama 2010 Executive Order was finally exposed.
    On March 24, 2010, President Obama said in his Executive Order (#13535) “Ensuring Enforcement and Implementation of Abortion Restrictions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”, “the Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to the newly created health insurance exchanges.” The President’s Executive Order said that, but now we know for certain that what it does and the new rule announced last week is entirely different.
    At its core the Hyde amendment has TWO parts. It prohibits funding for abortion AND funding for insurance plans that include abortion. This is the fundamental reality of longstanding federal law: taxpayer dollars DO NOT subsidize abortion plans that include elective abortion.
    Now, under Obamacare, taxpayers subsidies in the form of refundable, advanceable credits paid directly to the insurance company will subsidize insurance plans offered on the exchange that include abortion on demand—even late term abortion. Obamacare further breaks with longstanding law by establishing a new abortion surcharge and secrecy clause.
    Bottom line, the Executive Order and new rule implements the same accounting gimmick, abortion surcharge and secrecy clause that was in the original text of the bill. We knew it at the time, and the final
    “exchange” rule confirms once again that the President was suggesting one thing while doing precisely the opposite.
    Obamacare creates an unprecedented labyrinth of accounting gimmicks designed to hide the truth that the massive new health care program breaks with longstanding federal laws like the Hyde amendment and the Smith amendment.
    In 1983 I successfully offered an amendment to prohibit taxpayer funding for abortion in the federal employee health“exchange” rule confirms once again that the President was suggesting one thing while doing precisely the opposite.
    Obamacare creates an unprecedented labyrinth of accounting gimmicks designed to hide the truth that the massive new health care program breaks with longstanding federal laws like the Hyde amendment and the Smith amendment.
    In 1983 I successfully offered an amendment to prohibit taxpayer funding for abortion in the federal employee health benefits program. My amendment, in effect today, ensures that, like the Hyde Amendment, there is no funding for abortion or “the administrative expenses in connection with any health plan” that provides “benefits or coverage for abortion.”
    Under this scheme, premium payers will pay President Obama’s abortion surcharge of–maybe more, but at least—one dollar per month. This separate charge will go directly into an abortion-on-demand fund established by Obamacare. Requiring the segregation of funds into allocation accounts—a mere bookkeeping exercise is a cheap political trick designed to circumvent longstanding prohibitions on taxpayer funding of abortion like the Hyde amendment and the Smith amendment.
    The rule also contains a secrecy clause specifying that the abortion surcharge cannot be itemized in marketing materials, and may “only” be disclosed “as a part of the summary of benefits and coverage explanation, at the time of enrollment.” This secrecy clause requires insurance companies to bury the abortion surcharge in the summary of benefits so Americans shopping for an insurance plan on the exchange won’t know about the abortion surcharge until they sign up for coverage—and even then they could easily miss the fine print. Undoubtedly many enrollees will be shocked when they get a bill for the Obama abortion surcharge. Once enrolled, even pro-life Americans will be forced to pay for other people’s abortions.
    There is no funding for insurance plans that cover abortion and there are no accounting gimmicks in the Hyde amendment or the Smith Amendment. And, there is NO abortion surcharge and there is NO secrecy clause. Both of these longstanding policies explicitly prohibit coverage for abortion in the federal programs they cover, but President Obama refused to apply the same policy to Obamacare.
    That’s why the House has passed THREE bills to overturn this attack on longstanding policies:
    • On January 19, 2011, the House passed H.R. 2, to repeal Obamacare by a bipartisan vote of 245-189. The President threatened a veto and the Senate defeated a similar provision by a partisan vote of 47-53.
    • On May 4, 2011, the House passed Smith’s bill, H.R. 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” by a bipartisan vote of 251-175. The President threatened a veto and the Senate has taken no action.
    • On October 13, 2011, the House passed H.R. 358, the “Protect Life Act” by a bipartisan vote of 251-172. The President threatened a veto and the Senate has taken no action.

    Abortion isn’t health care. We live in an age of ultrasound imaging—the ultimate window to the womb. We are in the midst of a fetal health care revolution, an explosion of benign innovative interventions designed to diagnose, treat and cure disease or illness any unborn child may be suffering. Obamacare should do them no harm. Tragically, it does the worst harm of all. It kills children and makes others complicit in abortion.

  265. Indulgentiam says:

    goodness, i apologize for the doubling of the first part of the document don’t know what happened.

  266. Sissy says:

    Indulgentiam, thank you very much for all the helpful information. Sorry about your dinner…I’m sure your friend will greatly appreciate it!

    Section 1303 requires everyone in an insurance exchange to pay the surcharge regardless of whether their own particular plan covers election abortion IF even one plan in the exchange does cover it. Since the administration defines elective abortion as “health care”, I think there is little chance that they will allow plans to exclude abortion. But that doesn’t come into effect until 2014.

    I think that you and bookworm have answered my immediate question; the mandate for now concerns sterilization, contraception, and abortifacient forms of BC….so it’s a distinction without a difference. We’ll all be subsidizing those “services” starting in August. Thanks very much for taking the time to address my query.

  267. Dennis Martin says:

    Sissy wrote: “I wonder if driving health care insurers out of business might have been the point of ACA all along.”

    Of course it was. Obama made no secret of that. He’s on video before 2008 stating simply that single-payer (Canada, UK NHS) is his only goal.

    ACA is simply a means to that. By making the penalty/tax for not providing insurance for employees lower than the cost of providing insurance, it encourages companies to get out of the “health insurance as a job benefit” business, dumping as many as 20 million by some estimates off of employer-provided health insurance and into the state exchanges (where abortion coverage is part-and-parcel, paid for by a surcharge, hidden from participants on the surface of the policies).

    That’s only one of the incentives built in to drive people out of their present insurance and into quasi-government exchanges, eventually to a purely goverment run system, Medicare from cradle to grave.

    We shouted this at the top of our lungs in 2009 and now people are only just catching on.


  268. I find this development quite interesting on the wake of the White House overreaching bill and the supremes condoning it:


    More than three million people lost power after the storms, and at least 13 people have died, authorities said. Hardest hit was the Washington, D.C., area

  269. Indulgentiam says:

    I have worked in the healthcare industry for many years. I spent a number of years working for our State Health Department. Tax dollars have been funding sterilizations, contraception and the morning after pill for years. I do not know for certain that all states do this but there is a very simple way for you to find out. Call your local Health Dept. and ask, if your a woman, if they offer PAP Smears for low income woman. I am willing to bet that they do. When you make that appointment you will be given a PAP Smear then ushered into speak to a Nurse who will ask you if you are sexually active. The second you answer in the affirmative, married or no, she will offer you birth control. It is covered in the minimal charge for the PAP. Some women depending on their income are not charged at all. You will be certain to leave that Health Dept. with 6 packs of birth control and instructions to come back for the other six. Tubal Ligation’s and Vasectomies are also paid for by “special grants.” The morning after pill is simply given to any woman who says that she may be pregnant “against her will” no questions asked either. I no longer work there even though my Priest told me that my part of the job was not a sin. I always felt like an accessory. I think that we are all finally waking up to the fact that we are on a runaway train, have been for decades. And if we don’t ALL put our hands on the brake and start hauling back on it for all we’re worth, we’ll be going over a cliff. obamacare is indeed a slap in the face and hopefully it will wake us all up.

  270. I asked about the “insurance” I have.

    If it turns out that it is not exempt from all this, I asked to be removed from coverage by the end of July, 2012.

    Whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s!

    I just can’t be part of killing children at any stage of their lives. They have more right to live than I do, do they not? And… and… heaven is forever!

  271. jhayes says:

    Holy Souls Hermitage, i would slow down a bit until you have more information.

    My understanding is that the effective date for the ObamaCare insurance requirements is your first policy renewal date after August 1, 2012. It’s only on August first if your policy happens to expire on July 31.

    Don’t take my word for it, but i would check with your insurance provider to see when your coverage will change.

    I would also talk with a moral theologian to get his advice. Because of state laws, Catholic dioceses and institutions have provided contraception coverage and morning after pills for years – and have considered that to be permissable.

    Again, don’t take my word for it, but I would check with a priest with expert knowledge of this.

  272. Girgadis says:

    Sissy and AAM:
    I’m not an attorney, I’m a nurse (I work for a Catholic hospital, incidentally, that has been very vocal in its opposition to the HHS mandate). I’m also the mother of a lovely young lady who, through no fault of hers or mine, has been a frequent flyer at children’s hospitals since she was four days old. Try as I might, I cannot compare her life to an inanimate object such as a burning house and perhaps therein lies the problem with having to rely on “insurance” to receive care. Believe me, I could more easily afford replacing my house myself in the unfortunate event that it went down in ashes than I could paying out of pocket for her care.

    I’m very much aware of the waiting periods and premium incentives for coverage of pre-existing conditions and I know from first-hand experience the stall tactics insurance companies use to avoid having to insure some people. Again this is the drawback of having to rely on “insurance” to be able to afford care.

    I didn’t support this law even before the sneak attack on the Church because it does nothing to address spiraling costs, both to insure people and to deliver care. And so long as the Congress is unaffected, I’m quite sure nothing is what I can continue to expect from them.

  273. SKAY says:

    “Of course it was. Obama made no secret of that. He’s on video before 2008 stating simply that single-payer (Canada, UK NHS) is his only goal.”

    Exactly Dennis M. That goes along with him saying(before running for President) in an interview that he does not like the Constitution as written and suggested how it should be changed— yet when elected he swore to uphold and defend it. It is rather clear that he was more honest in the interview.

    Now that Justice Roberts has said that the horrible bill is Constitutional because it is a tax–the Democrats are now once again (after crowing loudly about the decision) saying that it is actually NOT a tax –and that it is like car insurance. I saw Henry Waxman(D CAL) say this in a news clip this morning. They really don’t like hearing that it is the largest tax increase in the history of this country. Unfortunately that is the nicest thing that can be said about it.

    It is also unfortunate that a majority of Catholics voted for Obama in the last election and elections have serious consequences. I suppose the Pelosi Catholics got what they voted for. This past 4 years will seem like a cakewalk compaired to the next four if he is re-elected. The new powers that are in this law that we know about at this point (that have little to do with healthcare) will totally change what this country stands for. Just look at those groups who are able to get waivers and those who cannot.

  274. Thanks jhayes. I’ve sent an email to my “agent”, who, I’m sure, will check into this matter of dates for me. But cancelling insurance is the way I’m headed if necessary.

    As for the precedent of dioceses doing untoward things, well… that’s not how moral theology works. There’s no morality by democracy. You can always but always find a super conservative priest, a super conservative canon lawyer, a super conservative moral theologian, a super conservative ethics board, a super conservative moral theology journal, a super conservative ethics think tank, etc., all of whom will back one’s opinion about doing whatever one wants just because it’s the politically correct thing to do, not because it is consonant with Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterial interventions of the Church, which they will only haphazardly cite so as to look nice.

    We also have to be discerning. I’ve also done quite a bit of moral theology in my day, that is, with some advanced, as it were, doubly post-graduate studies. I have plenty to say about formal and material cooperation which is proximate or remote or even “distanced[!]”. I have plenty to say about how the USCCB in decades past have misapplied these terms to get what they wanted in health care regarding the combinations of Catholic and non-Catholic hospitals in regard to abortion, etc.

    The most conservative Archdiocese at the time, for instance, said that abortions were fine in Catholic hospitals for the reason that it was an out-patient procedure. The Catholic hospital was therefore “distanced” in cooperation.

    The most conservative diocese at the time said that handing out date-rape pills was fine because, the super-conservative icon of orthodoxy moral theologian said: “It’s so small [the possibly just conceived baby], who will know the difference? So who cares?” Get it?

    However, times have changed, perhaps. The USCCB has said that they are pushing so hard for the reason that paying into an abortion insurance fund would be formal cooperation. If they come up with some other sort of rubbish to say that one is only remotely, materially cooperating, you know, from a “distance”, changing their tune just because they are now under pressure from the laity instead of the government… well… I’d have some choice words to say about all that.

    For myself, I can’t see cooperating in the death of little kids, whether by paying into the abortion super fund or subsidizing abortifacients (whenever all that kicks in). The super fund will gain about, what, 3 1/2 billion dollars a year if everyone kicks in? It’s a dollar a month for everyone, but I would guess that even the entire amount of a tax or penalty would go to these ends.

    For my own insignificant life, we will see what happens. I suppose I’ll survive to see Obamacare tossed. Maybe not. Whatever… I just want to do the right thing. No compromise. Jesus has loved us too much, right unto death, with no compromise, for us, for me to start compromising by helping to murder the littlest among us. I don’t want Jesus to say to me at the judgment: “Get away from me you evildoer, I never knew you!” So, instead of that: Fidelity! Fidelity! Fidelity!

    — apologies for the long comment — sorry!

  275. paladin says:

    For those who’ve asked what a conscientious person/family can do in the meantime, re: refusing to fund abortion, etc.: check out the following:

    It’s not Catholic, but it’s Christian, and it’s explicitly exempted from the Obamacare mandates (i.e. no penalty for having no insurance, no abortion surcharge, etc.). My wife and I are on it (and dropped our insurance), and we’ve been very pleased with it. The only faith-condition for membership is that you’re able to profess yourself to be a Christian (and accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior–the Catholic has a more correct interpretation of that idea than do most Protestant groups–should be something that any faithful Catholic can do! To be a member of the governing board, you have to sign your agreement to “sola Scriptura”, but I don’t particularly want to be on the governing board, anyway!). It’d be much better if there were a faithful, orthodox Catholic version of the same thing… but it’s loads better than the culture-of-death package being given us by Obama and co., right now.

  276. chantgirl says:

    Paladin- I would love to see a consumer reports type evaluation of the different health sharing groups. Anyone? I know that typically non-Catholic Christians have been the ones to start these. It sure would be nice if there was a Catholic version! At this point I’ll take what is available if it helps me avoid the HHS mandate!

  277. Would they allow alcohol? As a priest, I do pour a bit of wine into the chalice at the offertory. Some sharing groups make you swear off alcohol, which is a small sacrifice not to pay into an abortion fund, but I couldn’t do that completely.

    Actually, I think the Knights of Columbus could start a cost-sharing group pretty quickly. They have pretty much everything in place, and could get people signed up in no time flat. And they have the financial resources to begin immediately, even before people pay their small contributions into it. Any K of C crowd in Hartford reading this? Hint. Hint.

  278. robtbrown says:

    jhayes says:

    Because of state laws, Catholic dioceses and institutions have provided contraception coverage and morning after pills for years – and have considered that to be permissable.

    Not all the states actually require it. That some do, without having been challenged in court by the Church, is yet another indication of failure of the hierarchy. Their self imposed impotence has been no doubt encouraged (or mandated) by the hand wringing Vatican diplomatic corps that has been more interested in detente with secular govts than with propagating the faith.

    An even worse situation existed in Germany for some time. In order to have an abortion a woman is required to have a certificate that she has received counseling, signed by the counselor (who can be clergy). For years Catholic priests were signing. It was only in 1999 that Catholic priests were prohibited from signing the certificate (although anti abortion counseling continued). The pope only knew about the situation because a German bishop finally complained about it. The doctrinally flaccid Secretariat of State, led by the equally flaccid Cardinal Sodano, had “forgotten” to inform him of it.

    And we wonder why there are so few vocations . . .

  279. Sissy says:

    Girgadis: My heart goes out to you and your family, especially to your precious child. I will include all of you in my prayers, and I ask today, especially, that Our Blessed Lady will pray for your comfort, peace, and for complete healing.

    Your situation is one that is frustrating and an on-going burden. I know it isn’t easy; my own family has experienced a similar situation. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution to your predicament -one that is shared by many. The ACA will do nothing to help you, I’m sorry to say. It is simply a fact of life that commercial insurance companies operate on a rational basis for the purpose of making a profit. In general, they serve a very valuable purpose for most people. In the case of a class 4 risk, their policies are not well-suited to your situation. But, if they are driven out of business, the alternative for you and everyone else, healthy or otherwise, will be single-payer government insurance. In in other words, everyone will be thrown into Medicaid. I’m sure as a nurse you see plenty of Medicaid patients, so you are probably aware of the problems they face. The advisory board that the government is setting up to make determinations about care under the ACA will not be kind to your child, I’m sorry to say. The disabled and elderly will suffer terribly under the ACA, because they are not considered “productive”. This is not urban legend. The advisory board has been set up under guidance of Dr. Ira Emanuel on the principle of “utility”. Read about his philosophy of “health care” sometime, if you want nightmares. There is no easy, cheap answer to your plight.
    My prayers are with you, and may the Lord grant you strength and courage in the days ahead.
    Mary S.

  280. Sissy says:

    My apologies; it is Dr. Zeke Emanuel (brother of Rham Emanuel), also known as “Doctor Death”,
    who has espoused the utilitarian argument for health care rationing. ACA will follow guidelines based on his philosophy.

  281. bookworm says:

    “It’d be much better if there were a faithful, orthodox Catholic version of the same thing”

    Looks like somebody is already working on it:

    It’s not off the ground yet but you can sign up to show interest and receive information.

  282. robtbrown says:

    Sissy says,

    It is simply a fact of life that commercial insurance companies operate on a rational basis for the purpose of making a profit.

    The Blues are regional companies, and many are not for profit. Their premiums are a function of claims plus operating expenses, without consideration of any profit. And MetLife is now a mutual company that is owned by the policyholders.

    It is also important to know that insurance companies function to raise capital for investments. Thus, any profit is not merely a matter of Premiums minus Claims and Operating Expenses, but also of how their investments go. Thus, if investments are producing well, the cost of claims is less a factor. A company can show a profit even if P is not greater than C and O/E.

  283. jhayes says:

    Holy Souls Hermitage, can you get your healrh insurance through the Church? Some (arch)dioceses have their own health insurance plans for priests.

  284. Sissy says:

    robtbrown: Thank you for that correction of my inaccurate language. Let us say that most commercial insurance companies are not set up to operate on a loss, which is what would happen if they attempted to insure all comers with the same underwriting. Even when they are called “not-for-profit”, they aren’t charities.

  285. AnAmericanMother says:

    That is a dreadful situation for you, and especially for your daughter. Prayers that her situation improves.
    But Obamacare will simply make your situation worse. The government — which has immunity from suit and is untrammelled by the Insurance Commissioners and state legislators who are often able to pressure private insurers into covering marginal claims — will simply decide that certain people are too expensive to treat. And we all know what will happen then.
    As much as insurers are the corporations everybody loves to hate, one has alternatives when dealing with them. I often found that just breathing the words “insurance commissioner” would get prompt results . . . and of course if there is a wrongful denial there are the bad faith penalties and attorney fees and 25% of the amount in dispute on top. It makes them careful – unlike the government which will have no consequences at all for denying claims.
    While one can’t compare a human being to a car, one can compare a person with extensive medical needs to a driver who has a lot of accidents (and whether that’s due to bad driving or bad luck, it’s still an underwriting event).
    The answer to the situation is not a one-size-fits-all universal health care, but something like the “assigned risk pool” that most states have for uninsurable drivers. They pay higher premiums, but a portion of the premium is funded by tax dollars, and the risky drivers are allocated among all auto insurers in the state. That way the taxpayers and all insurers spread the risk as evenly as possible, and because the insurers are allowed to continue to underwrite on a risk basis for the vast majority of drivers, they don’t feel the hit too badly (and neither do their regular customers).
    Investments are not exactly going well for insurers right now. That’s part of the pinch at the moment, but ObamaCare isn’t helping. Short-sighted insurers are looking at the short term increased customer base — but the lack of feasible underwriting will get them in the end.
    And mutuals still must make a profit, it’s just a matter of who’s holding the stock.

  286. Bea says:


    The beginning of this whole mess:
    Since the 1870’s there was a trend among Americans prelates to compromise false principles that led to the public denial of the Kingship of Christ and ultimately to the destruction of society.
    see synopsis on this link by Catholic Apologetics:

    Pope Leo XIII wrote to Cardinal Gibbons who said that all was well here no need to worry.
    The Pope then wrote an encyclical on “The Heresy of Americanism” (TESTEM BENEVOLENTIAE NOSTRAE) dated January 22, 1899 (74 years-almost-to the day of Roe vs Wade)
    Russell Shaw on the 95 anniversary of this encyclical wrote an interesting article on this that cover it very well:

    In this article Russell Shaw mentions how Kennedy campaigning in Houston said that his Catholicism would not interfere with his presidency. This was exactly what Pope Leo XIII was trying to warn Cardinal Gibbons about. That is what Justice Roberts has now done. This is what has led to the crisis in the Church in America today. This is what our Bishops and hierarchy have not protected us from. This heresy of Americanism where the Kingship of Christ is not given its proper place.

    This does not mean that we don’t love America, Our Great Nation, on the contrary we love it so much that we place it under God, the King’s protection by defending His Primacy over all peoples, His Primacy over Our Nation. A man cannot divorce his soul by separating Church and State within himself but by being true to God and Nation.

    Here is the full text of Pope Leo XIII to Cardinal Gibbons (the encyclical TESTEM BENEVOLENTIAE NOSTRAE) if anyone is interested in reading it:

  287. Girgadis says:

    Sissy and AAM:
    Thank you for your kind words and offer of prayers, always appreciated. We’re in much better shape than many others we encounter but I do worry about what happens when I’m no longer here to advocate. God Bless.

  288. Thomas of Aquin says:

    I ask that you direct your attention to this site. It helps to validate the decision of the conservative-thinking Chief Justice Roberts.

  289. poorlady says:

    I have already submitted a request to the company I work for to be taken off of the company’s insurance plan. I’m placing all my confidence in Jesus, Mary, and St. Joseph.

  290. Jeff,

    I am fully aware on what the Supremes ruled on. But as Catholics, our problem remains. The “individual mandate” was just one problem with the health care law. Our tax dollars are still being used to subsidize abortion and our Catholic institutions are still being forced to violate our beliefs.

  291. joan ellen says:

    Background: Health Education.
    My understanding of the below:
    My insurance carrier renewal begins Jan 1, 2013 with ACA changes. To begin with, changes are for commercial plans and for those under 65 years old.
    My State has no info re:ACA as yet.
    RE: Health Sharing Plans:

    Amish/Mennonite communities do not participate in Social Security. Those of us who do participate in Social Security are not elegible to participate in Amish/Mennonite plans:

    Catholic Medical Association website:

    Solidarity Health Share: Dr. John Oertle in Gilbert, Az. a Naturopathic Physician, seems to be the owner of Solidarity Health Share website.
    This could possibly be an answer for Holy Souls, Girgadis, Sissy, AAM, 70 year olds, (me), and etc. This website gives great hope, and thankyou Bookworm.

  292. jhayes says:

    I have already submitted a request to the company I work for to be taken off of the company’s insurance plan. I’m placing all my confidence in Jesus, Mary, and St. Joseph.

    poorlady (and others contemplating giving up your health insurance) I suggest waiting to hear what the bishops say about this before going off on your own. I haven’t yet heard them say what they believe inividual Catholics hould do in this situation.

    Two years ago when the Madison diocese and St. Mary’s Hospital were required by the state to start providing contraception coverage, Bishop Morlino said they would comply but warned Catholics not to use the contraceptive benefits even though their insurance would cover them. I have not heard that he asked that Catholics withdraw from the insurance plans.

    Since some private companies will have to start covering contraception starting in August, I would expect that the bishops will make an announcement before then if they feel that Catholics should give up their insurance. If you feel that you must make a decision before the bishops speak, I would ask your parish priest before doing anything.

    A state law is forcing the Madison Catholic Diocese this month to begin offering its employees insurance coverage for birth control.

    However, a diocesan spokesman said employees will be warned against using the benefit and that open defiance of Catholic teaching on the issue could ultimately lead to termination.

    St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison has notified employees that it, too, soon will be required for the first time to cover contraception.

    Both entities sought to get around the mandate by becoming self-insured, but the costs proved prohibitive.


  293. According to Justice Roberts, the “tax provision” makes the thing constitutional. However, the Obama regime is insisting that it is NOT a tax, but rather a penalty. This clarification by the Obama regime should now make obamacare UNCONSTITUTIONAL and Roberts should revisit his decision.

    Roberts’ decision is based entirely on his taking liberties with his flimsy rewording of obamacare to make something that was unconstitutional suddenly constitutional. A flimsy rationalization on Roberts part. Perhaps he was intimidated by Obama since after all, he is the one justice who is known to read the papers and allow public opinion and federal opinion to penetrate his judgments.

    Roberts needs to revisit his decision not just revisit for what it is: a “penalty” and NOT a “tax”, by Obama’s admission, and therefore unconstitutional, but revisit it for what it does to the nation – give enormous power to the government over people’s personal lives, including the intrusion of government into religion. Fr. Z points out: “through the edict of non-elected HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Pres. Obama would force religious institutions against conscience to pay for some services… or face penalties (i.e. taxes).”

    Did Roberts overlook this intrusion? Clearly. Did Roberts bend over backwards to put words into obamacare that weren’t there (ie. erasing words to influence a predetermined opinion, like a certain 16th c. Augustinian monk) and artificially make a bill suddenly “constitutional”? Yes.

    Roberts failed America twofold. Roberts deserves all the blame and none of any credit people are trying to spin this decision to make themselves feel better. Roberts is a traitor to his nation and his religion and deserves the Martin Luther award.

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