The Ugly Truth of Obamacare

By: James D. Kellogg

It’s been just over a year since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, was enacted. You can’t hide the ugly truth. This sprawling bureaucracy asserts federal control over the remarkable American healthcare system and severs the last connecting fibers between doctors and patients. Obamacare is bad medicine. It expands federal government powers beyond Constitutional limits, strips control of health care choices from American citizens, and adds to our national debt at a staggering rate.

There is no provision for federal control of healthcare in the Constitution, yet Obamacare mandates that all American citizens and legal residents purchase qualifying health care coverage. Failure to comply will result in a federal fine equal to 2% of household income. That’s right. Congress is coercing people to perform an affirmative act or incur a penalty on the basis that they exist and reside in the United States. The concept is unprecedented in American history.

If the U.S. government can force Americans to engage in specific financial transactions, the entire relationship between citizens and government is permanently altered. For instance, what would stop the government from punishing you for not buying solar panels for your house? Obamacare propels us toward a future in which government controls every aspect of individual economic decisions.

Forcing citizens and legal residents to have healthcare coverage to avoid a tax penalty is a punishment of economic inactivity, which exceeds federal power to regulate interstate commerce granted in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 (Commerce Clause) of the U.S. Constitution. It also violates the Tenth Amendment, which states powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution are retained by the separate States, or by the people. In simple terms, Obamacare penalizes failure to engage in an activity that is the choice of individual Americans.

In response to the egregious assault on federalism and individual liberty, Colorado joined 25 other states in a lawsuit regarding Constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. On January 31, 2011, Federal District Judge Roger Vinson ruled that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is indeed unconstitutional. Obamacare cannot go into effect unless the ruling is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration is still intent on implementing the health care law.
Americans are on the verge of losing the freedom to make fundamental life and death choices. A new bureaucracy called the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Center will soon dictate our health care options with an unhealthy dose of rationing. In an audacious move, the President appointed a proponent of socialized medicine and health care rationing, Donald Berwick, to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The quality and availability of American health care is about to disappear.

If you’re still not worried about Obamacare, take a look at the price tag. This monstrosity will cost more than $2.7 trillion over 10 years and add at least $352 billion to the national debt. On top of that, we can expect tax increases of close to $700 billion over the next decade. The health care law will add 16 million people (e.g., everyone under age 65 with incomes as high as 133% of the federal poverty level) to the ranks of Medicaid, a program already on the brink of insolvency.

As a matter of Constitutionality, control, and cost, the U.S. House of Representatives has initiated the process to repeal Obamacare. Polling by Rasmussen reveals that a majority of likely voters support the effort. Americans should not trade liberty, choice, and fiscal sanity for the mythical benefits of socialized medicine.

James D. Kellogg is a professional engineer in Colorado, the author of the thriller novel E-Force, and the founder of Please visit or contact him at

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