Before Obamacare became the law of the land, members of Congress could not escape the question: Does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate? Then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–CA) responded that constitutional questions were not serious questions.
Convinced those constitutional questions were serious, one citizen tried a different tactic and asked Representative Pete Stark (D–CA), “If [Obamacare] is Constitutional, what limitations are there on the federal government’s ability to tell us how to run our private lives?…If they can do this, what can’t they?”
And it must have been a serious question, since Stark responded: “The federal government can, yes, do most anything in this country.”
Does “anything” mean forcing religious institutions either to violate their freedom of conscience or pay a hefty fine? Yes, yes it does.
At a recent town hall, a citizen asked Representative Kathy Hochul (D–NY) where in the Constitution it says that Washington can mandate any private group to offer anything—contraception, Band-Aids, or cancer screenings—for free. Her answer: “Well, basically, we’re not looking to the Constitution on that aspect of it. Basically, the decision has been made by this Congress that American citizens are entitled to health care.”
There you have it. According to Members of Congress, it didn’t matter that there was no constitutional authority for Congress to enact Obamacare. And it doesn’t matter that Obamacare violates the First Amendment. When Congress decides to do something, nothing can stand in its way—not even the Constitution.