This week, a new lawsuit raising issues not addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court in its ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or “ObamaCare”) was filed by Texas physician Steve F. Hotze, M.D., and his business. The case is Hotze v. Sebelius, 4:13-cv-01318 (S.D. Texas).
In its unexpected ruling that the insurance mandates in ObamaCare are taxes, the Court opened the door for issues that it could not address or resolve because neither party in NFIB brought them up. Most importantly, all revenue-raising bills must originate in the House of Representatives, as expressly required by the Origination Clause in Article 1, Section 7, of the U.S. Constitution. PPACA originated in the Senate, and is therefore unconstitutional in its entirety.
Hotze challenges both the individual mandate and the application of ObamaCare to mid-size companies like the one he founded. He notes that ObamaCare will cause millions to lose their health insurance and their ability to access their own physician, despite promises by Democrats to the contrary when they passed the bill.
Moreover, businesses are reducing hours and paychecks to put their employees under the 30-hour-per-week threshold for mandatory insurance. The entire American workforce is at risk of being forced into temporary or part-time work, and lower pay, because of the effect of ObamaCare on employers.
Even the architects of the bill are admitting that implementation is proving to be a “train wreck.”
“Federal courts can avert the disastrous train wreck of ObamaCare by simply applying the Origination Clause to invalidate it,” stated Andrew Schlafly, the attorney who filed this lawsuit and who also serves as the General Counsel to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). “Federal courts in Texas should enjoin the massive, unconstitutional distribution of money away from Texas that would result from application of ObamaCare.”
Texas did not adopt the Medicaid expansion or set up a health insurance exchange, so ObamaCare amounts to little more than taking hundreds of billions of dollars away from this State.
The lawsuit also explains how ObamaCare violates the Fifth Amendment by compelling private citizens, Dr. Hotze and his business in this case, to pay money to another private entity, a government-approved insurance company. There is no precedent for government to take property from one citizen in order to transfer it directly to another. Many precedents prohibit such compelled transfers as a violation of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
The case filed by AAPS in 2010 (AAPS v. Sebelius), now pending in the D.C. Circuit, also raises these issues. Any disagreement between venues on a legal issue increases the likelihood of Supreme Court review.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943.
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