May 3, 2014
If the president wants to witness a refutation of his assertion that the survival of the Affordable Care Act is assured, come Thursday he should stroll the 13 blocks from his office to the nation’s second-most important court, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. There he can hear an argument involving yet another constitutional provision that evidently has escaped his notice. It is the origination clause, which says: “All bills for raising reveornue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.”
The ACA passed the Senate on a party-line vote, and without a Democratic vote to spare, after a series of unsavory transactions that purchased the assent of several shrewdly extortionate Democrats. What will be argued on Thursday is that what was voted on — the ACA — was indisputably a revenue measure and unquestionably did not originate in the House, which later passed the ACA on another party-line vote.
“Two years ago, the Supreme Court saved the ACA by declaring its penalty to be a tax,” Will adds. “It thereby doomed the ACA as an unconstitutional violation of the origination clause.”
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