History on the Docket

, Jocelyn Grecko, Leave a comment

All eyes are watching and ready for the Supreme Court to take up Obamacare in Florida vs. the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week. So much is at stake as this landmark case has the power to either bring things back to the drawing board or cast aside what lies at the very core of America.

“How many of you have heard of Roe vs. Wade or Brown vs. the Board of Education,” Hadley Heath of the Independent Women’s Forum asked the Conservative Women’s Network  at the Heritage Foundation on Friday. Although her question was rhetorical, it’s safe to say that the two cases she mentioned are some of the most historic Supreme Court Cases in, well, history.

According to Nina Owcharenko, Director of the Center for Health Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, “The upcoming Supreme Court Hearings indicate it [Obamacare] is not settled business.”

Now, Heath thinks Florida vs. HHS will join that list – it has the power to be historic. Here’s why:

The hearing is about the right to be left alone, explained Karen Harned, Executive Director of the National Federation for Individual Business (NFIB) Small Business Legal Center. Harned went on to explain that, “Congress has never gone this far – not even in the New Deal… The government is unable to say where it would end and what Congress would tell us to buy.” She cited a recent poll that says 56 percent of Americans want Obamacare repealed, and of those, 46 percent say they strongly want it repealed.

Carrie Severino, Chief Counsel and Policy Director at the Judicial Crisis Network, explained that Obamacare forces the American people to engage in something they may not want to do. “There is no limit to the theory of what the government can tell us to do.” She said that although there are certain things necessary for our government, this forcing of healthcare under the guise of a necessary and proper commerce clause is not one of those things.

“The government has taken it too far,” she said. “They say, ‘if we can do A, we can do B.’”

Harned represents small businesses from across the country. She says that those she represents want the freedom to operate their own business. “We were hearing from our members and a significant strong majority wanted us to join the fight.” Consequently, she says that the NFIB’s membership has grown for the first time in the past 20 years.

“Government needs to get out of the way… The founders wanted to limit the power of the government… In the past century, freedom has been chipped away bit by bit,” she said.

“Obamacare is unprecedented, unlimited, unnecessary, and dangerous.” It could produce what Harned calls, “a command economy.” She said that hopefully the Court will see this.

She explained that the six hours of oral arguments set to take place this week surround four topics: the individual mandate, severability, applicability, and the impact of Medicaid.

Heath added to the discussion by saying, “This case is not about what the government would do, it’s about what the government could do.” Heath said that Obamacare is causing a loss of liberty and individual responsibility. “Even if it did fit within the framework of the Constitution, it’s still bad policy.”

“The American culture has been live and let live, but when this law kicks in, there’s going to be a lot of shared responsibility,” Heath said. “This changes the idea of personal business.”

While the women on the panel firmly believe that Obamacare does not fit within the framework of the Constitution, they only have the hope that the Court will share the same stance.

This group, just like the many across the country, is anxious to hear what the Court will decide. Owcharenko summed up the feelings of many Americans, “I don’t think the American people were fooled by this and that’s encouraging… We’re not in the minority, we’re in the majority.”

Jocelyn Grecko is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia. Jocelyn has spent the past four years in the nation’s capital as a Media Studies undergraduate student at The Catholic University of America. She will graduate in May 2012.

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org

 

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