Texas is attempting to throw a monkey wrench in the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) by obstructing the Federal Government from collecting any tax applicable under the act and minimizing the burden on the taxpayer.

Texas Bill HB3785, an Act relating to the nullification of unconstitutional federal laws that create or increase taxes and the enforceability of related federal tax liens or levies; providing for a filing fee and providing criminal penalties, was introduced by Representative Charles Perry on March 8, 2013.

The policy enacted will allow Texas to protect its citizens from tax liabilities created by the PPACA.  If the legislature nullifies other unconstitutional federal laws that create or increase taxes, the same policies shall be used to protect citizens from those tax liabilities. -text HB3785

The Texas Bill finds the PPACA unconstitutional for several reasons:

1.  The people of the several states comprising the United States of America created the federal government to be their agent for certain enumerated purposes and nothing more.
 
2.  The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution defines the total scope of federal power as being that which has been delegated by the people of the several states to the federal government, and all powers not delegated to the federal government in the United States Constitution are reserved to the states, respectively, or to the people themselves.
 
3.  The assumption of power that the federal government has made by enacting the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA) interferes with the right of the people of the State of Texas to regulate health care as they see fit.
 
4.  The decision of the United States Supreme Court to uphold the individual mandate in the PPACA as a tax is invalid because: 

A.  The legislative intent was to enforce it as a penalty. The court chose to legislate from the bench by classifying it as a tax.  This is a clear overreach of judicial power, as all legislative powers are vested in the United States Congress.

B.  After classifying the individual mandate as a tax, the court failed to recognize it as a direct tax – just as a tax on land based solely on its rental income is the same as a direct tax on the land itself, a tax on individuals based solely on their decision not to buy health insurance is a direct tax on individuals.   To get around this, Chief Justice Roberts ruled that the individual mandate is indirect because not everyone will have to pay it. However, the percentage of people ultimately subject to a tax does not determine into which category it falls.  Less than two percent of Americans were subject to the original income tax, yet the court still viewed it as a direct tax.

C.  The PPACA was improperly passed by Congress.  According to Section 7, Article I, United States Constitution, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.”  The bill that passed the House, H.R. 3590, was a revenue bill that the Senate amended.  The original bill’s purpose was to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the first-time homebuyer’s credit in the case of members of the armed forces and certain other federal employees and for other purposes.   When the Senate amended the bill, nothing was left of the original bill.  It instead became a completely new revenue bill containing multiple taxes, as well as the provisions for Obamacare.   This is, in effect, a case of the Senate originating a revenue bill, and this clearly violates the United States Constitution.

Texas has proposed the legislation and is hoping other states will follow suit.  They feel if enough states become an impediment to Obamacare, the federal government may find it impossible to implement it. 

ACTION ITEMS

If you live in Texas, contact your state legislator.  Let him or her know that you support Bill HB3785 and you would like a  YES vote.  Click here for House contact information and here  for the Senate.

If you live outside Texas, still contact your state legislator. Inform him or her that you hope similar legislation will be introduced in your state.

Linda McDonald