Stakeholders keep challenging the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare”, based on such as whether the U.S. Government may (as opposed to can) mandate that individuals purchase something against their will, or now, whether businesses or even nonprofits may (again as opposed to can) be forced to purchase what violates their religious faith. All of this is but chipping away at the edges.
The Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional for the same reason that Medicare and Medicaid and SCHIP and more are unconstitutional. The U.S. Congress has never ever had authority to involve itself in medical or pharmaceutical care or in commercial risk management via insurance in any way, shape, or form, save via a reach vis-a-vis members of the Armed Forces or other federal government employees and students at the service academies.
The enumerated powers of the U.S. Congress are enumerated in Article 1 Section 8 and there are eighteen of them. Yes, per said Article and Section, the U.S. Congress may lay taxes, but there are limits on what said may (once again as opposed to can) be used for. Just for the eighteen. Yes the Article and Section identifies as purposes both the “common Defence” and “general Welfare of the United States”, but those are purposes, not enumerated powers.
May the U.S. Congress create a Department of Agriculture? No. See the enumerated powers. May it create a Department of Commerce? Yes, but not with the scope and mandate of the one it did. Education? No. Energy? No. Health & Human Services? No. Housing & Urban Development? No. Homeland Security (including its FEMA)? No. Etc. The EPA? No. The FDA? No.
Can the U.S. Congress create all of the above? Obviously! Why? Because We the People have and continue to allow it. We are dumb, blind, ignorant, stupid, and/or benefit from all of that plunder of individuals’ liberty and property.
While each human being comes to Planet Earth sovereign (so subject to no other without explicit permission), and endowed with the unalienable rights from the Creator or Nature’s God to life, to liberty (the right to do whatever the heck you want . . . just as long as not infringing on others’ like rights in the process), and to property (first, self, then ideas and inventions, then what acquired from others by purchase or trade; all from whence comes the pursuit of happiness); while all of that, no human being on Planet Earth has any right to what others produce, what is others’ property. No groceries. No shelter. No internet access. No job. No “living wage”. No so-called “healthcare”. No paid-for contraceptives, Justices Kagan, Sotomayer, and Ginsburg. None. Zip.