Bondi, Olens on losing their Obamacare challenge: 2 out of 3 ain’t bad
Two state attorneys general, who were party to the court challenges to President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), told delegates to the 2012 GOP convention Aug. 29 that they lost because of the president’s malleable definition of a tax.
The Supreme Court agreed with the challenge to the PPACA on two counts, said Florida Attorney General Pamela J. Bondi, who was joined on the podium by Georgia Attorney General Samuel S. Olens.
“The Court agreed that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution does not allow the federal government to force you to purchase a product you don’t want,” Bondi said.
“The Court agreed that the Constitution does not allow the federal government to force states to adopt a budget-busting expansion of Medicaid,” she said.
Olens said, “The health care lawsuit has reminded all of us that the Constitution limits the power of government. It has reminded us of the precious relationship between federalism and individual liberty.”
But, the two must have sensed the unease in the Tampa Times Forum among the delegates. Like celebrities reading the nominees on a televised awards program, it was a slightly uncomfortable way to address one of the most traumatic events of the Obama years.
The PPACA was upheld, 5 to 4, by the Supreme Court June 28, the last day of its 2011-2012 session with a majority opinion written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts that gave imprimatur to the health care legislation based on the third count.
“Then came the shocker,” said Olens.
“The Supreme Court upheld the individual insurance mandate by calling it something the president swore it never was — a tax,” he said.
“At every stage of the process, President Obama and Congressional Democrats promised us that the mandate was not a tax. Because they knew Americans were hurting, and the last thing we needed was another tax!”
“Because they knew — if the American public were told that Obamacare was just a massive tax hike, they wouldn’t have a prayer of passing it,” he said.
Then, having made the obligatory mention of the Supreme Court debacle, the senior litigators returned the matter back to the politicians.
Or, maybe they were making peace with the court in anticipation of their next appearance.
Olen said, “Though we fundamentally disagree with his decision, Chief Justice Roberts did observe that it is not the Supreme Court’s ‘job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.’”
Bondi, then her turn to rouse the crowd, exclaimed to cheers: “It is our job to make a new choice. It is time to stand up and say, in a loud, clear voice: enough! It is time to repeal Obamacare!”