Commentary

SCOTUS Obamacare Ruling Is an Attack on the Rule of Law

By Twila Brase | June 25, 2015 | 2:33pm EDT
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the dissenting opinion of the Burwell case (left) and Chief Justice Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion of the Burwell case (right). (AP Photo)

The United States Supreme Court today announced its decision on the landmark Affordable Care Act case, King v. Burwell, which analyzed whether federal premium subsidies issued to residents in states without a state-established exchange are allowable.

The Court ruled that subsidies provided through HealthCare.gov are indeed lawful, meaning that the federal exchange, which was hastily built after most states refused to build their own exchange, can continue issuing subsidies. This was not how the Affordable Care Act was written.

This disastrous decision is a terrible attack on the rule of law because it sends the message that the rule of law does not matter; whoever has the most power, the strongest attorneys and the biggest voice wins. Without the rule of law, it becomes the rule of power—all up to interpretation. Claims of intent and outside interpretations of intent will now rule, not the actual words written in the law. When we start allowing the loose interpretation of law based on after-the-fact claims of intent, the foundation of the rule of law crumbles.

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom has been educating Americans for five years about the dangers of Obamacare, which is expensive, intrusive, compromises care and ties the hands of doctors.

Sadly, the Court did not rule on what is actually written in the law. And sadder still, the ruling means that citizens in 37 states, including the 6.5 million Americans receiving Obamacare subsidies, didn’t regain their health freedom today. They will remain trapped in a government health care system of mandates and penalties that does not work, doesn’t look out for their best interests, makes health care unaffordable, and puts their private medical data at risk.

This was an opportunity to save America from Obamacare—to protect their freedoms from government mandates, taxes and penalties, fewer jobs, work hours that have been cut to the bone, and lower wages. But that chance was squandered.

Twila Brase is president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org), a Minnesota-based national organization dedicated to preserving patient-centered health care and protecting patient and privacy rights. Celebrating its 20th year, CCHF exists to protect health care choices and patient privacy. Brase, a registered nurse, has been called one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Health Care” and one of “Minnesota’s 100 Most Influential Health Care Leaders.”

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