Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio (shown in photo) has proposed adding an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would invalidate the ObamaCare health insurance mandate. Labelled the “Right to Refuse” amendment, the measure would make it unconstitutional for Congress to impose taxes on American citizens who refuse to purchase goods or services deemed necessary by Congress.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the individual mandate clause of the Affordable Care Act is constitutional because it is a tax and therefore falls under the power of Congress to tax.
Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the majority opinion that while the “individual mandate is not a valid exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause,” it is a valid exercise of the taxing power granted the federal government by the Constitution. “Simply put, Congress may tax and spend,” he concluded. Of course, that line of reasoning overlooks the fact that the federal government taxing powers are not intended to fund anything the Congress wants to spend money on but only those things that are enumerated in the Constitution.
Rubio seeks a constitutional amendment to override that ruling. According to his office, the Right to Refuse amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law that imposes a tax on a failure to purchase goods or services.”
If the individual mandate is permitted to go into effect, the IRS is tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the payments of the individual mandate tax by those who opt out of health insurance.
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Photo: Senator Marco Rubio: AP Images