The U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments in NFIB vs. Sebelius, the cardinal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, on Monday, March 26th. As an indication of its importance, the Justices have allotted six hours for arguments— the most time granted in any case since Brown vs. Board of Education.
Nothing less than the future of the nation is at stake: our ideals, our freedoms and the ability of our small businesses to create jobs and grow the economy.
It is not hyperbole to state that this may be the most important case the Court will hear this century. Here are five of the many freedoms at stake:
1) The American ideal of freedom
Our nation was founded on individual liberty—liberty which is under assault by the health care law. The individual mandate is unprecedented and unconstitutional.
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It will strip Americans of the freedoms they hold dear and chisel away their ability to exercise individual liberties and freedoms.
If the law stands, the checks on the government’s power will be all but gone. It will have the power to tell every individual, every religious institution, every family and every business what it must do in order to be an American. Under the false pretense of serving “the public good,” the long arm of the government will extend even further into our lives.
In short, everything will change.
2) The freedom to purchase whatever product you want with your own money
The government has never been able to force Americans to buy something or pay a penalty in the history of this nation. If the individual mandate is upheld, the Constitution will not protect Americans from any mandate Congress wants to impose.
If Congress decides that Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement, the government could mandate that every individual open a retirement account and require that they fund it a certain level every year. There will be no limits to the mandates Congress can impose on Americans.
3) The right to own and operate your small business
Small businesses create over 60 percent of the nation’s new jobs. The job market is stagnant and the health care law has had a palpable chilling effect on the sector and caused many small businesses not to hire.
Economic uncertainty is directly linked to this law, the typical small business owner has no idea what it will cost to provide health insurance to new hires or event their own families. Health care costs are marbles put into a roulette wheel and no one knows where they will stop.
Any benefits of this law are far-outweighed by the infringement and violation of small businesses’ personal liberties and by the government’s over-reach into the day-to-day operations of running their business.
4) The power to decide what is medically best for our families and businesses
If ObamaCare is upheld, over half of all Americans would be forced onto some type of government-run health-care by the end of the decade. Elite bureaucrats would be in charge of deciding what medical tests you need or should have based on costs. What’s more, these government bureaucrats will also get to decide what kinds of insurance plans will be made available and what businesses must provide in the form of health insurance to their employees.
5) The economic future of this country
ObamaCare is already a significant drag on the nation’s economy and could threaten to sink it even further when the mandate goes into effect in 2014. Not surprisingly, its costs were vastly underestimated during the national debate.
President Obama’s 2013 budget estimated that the cost of providing health insurance to millions of middle-class Americans over ten years will jump by 30 percent. A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report earlier this year showed a marked increase in overall federal health-care spending from what was originally reported when ObamaCare was being debated.
The country cannot afford to go into further debt. We cannot afford this law.
The stage is set for this case to make history. Either the nation morphs into a culture of dependency, where Americans relinquish their freedoms to an all-powerful government, or we stand for what the Founders sought to preserve: our individual liberties and freedoms.
We are fighting for the very future of our country and hope that the Court will protect our freedoms and find that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and the entire law must fall as a result.
Karen Harned is executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Legal Center.
Karen R. Harned, esq. is executive director of the NFIB's Small Business Legal Center.