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Thursday, January 26, 2017
Andrew Napolitano: Trump has committed the most revolutionary act I've seen in 45 years
Within four hours of becoming president of the United States, Donald Trump signed an executive order intended to limit immediately the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in ways that are revolutionary.
With the stroke of a pen, the president assaulted the heart of the law that was the domestic centerpiece of his predecessor’s administration. How did this happen? How can a U.S. president, who took an oath to enforce the laws faithfully, gut one of them merely because he disagrees with it?
Here is the back story.
When Obamacare went through Congress in 2010, all Democrats in Congress supported it and all congressional Republicans were opposed. The crux of their disagreement was the law’s command that everyone in the United States obtain and maintain health insurance -- a command that has come to be known as “the individual mandate.”
Republicans argued that Congress was without the authority to compel people to enter the marketplace by purchasing a product -- that such decisions should be freely made by individuals and that that freedom was protected from governmental interference by the Constitution. Democrats argued that the commerce clause of the Constitution, which permits Congress to regulate commerce among the states, also permits it to compel commercial activity on the part of individuals who make up a highly regulated component of interstate commerce.
To ensure compliance with the individual mandate, the law provided that the IRS would collect the fair market value of a bare-bones insurance policy from those who did not obtain and maintain one. The government would then take that money and purchase a health insurance policy for that individual who rejected the law’s command. WATCH