OPINION EDITORIAL – Today’s Supreme Court decision is only a temporary and hollow victory for the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court allowed the individual mandate to stand as a tax, but it concluded that Congress had exceeded its regulatory authority under the Commerce Clause by attempting to impose the individual mandate as a government directive. The individual mandate is already highly unpopular, and it will become even more so as theAmerican people recognize it for what the Court deemed it to be — a tax on the middle class that coerces Americans into healthcare decisions they would not choose for themselves.
Importantly, the Court today also held that the manner in which the Affordable Care Act sought to expand Medicaid violates the Constitution and our nation’s system of federalism. The federal government may not bully the states into expanding Medicaid by threatening to take away all federal Medicaid funding.
Today’s decision makes it all the more important — and likely — that the Affordable Care Act will be repealed after the elections this November. It is essential that members of Congress, as the people’s elected representatives, act to protect individual liberty. When we look back at today’s decision in the coming months and years, I believe it may ultimately be regarded not as a victory for the Affordable Care Act but instead as a recognition and validation of federalism, limited government, and the freedoms protected by our constitutional structure.