Eric Martin
3 min readJul 24, 2021


Every President wants to leave a mark on the office and create a legacy that will be remembered long after they are gone. For President Barack Obama, that legacy would be cemented by instituting a complete overhaul of the American Healthcare system. Obamacare, officially known as The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The Affordable Care Act is the most extensive regulatory overhaul and expansion of coverage in U.S. healthcare systems since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

To pass the Affordable Care Act the Democrats in the House and Senate needed to pull a legislative sleight. The House and Senate both passed their own version of what would become Obamacare on Christmas Eve 2009. The product that passed the Senate passed with a 60 vote democrat majority that no longer existed after Republican Scott Brown won the Senate Massachusetts special election in January 2010. Rather than amend their bill, which would have required another senate vote. The House voted on the identical bill that the Senate passed. Essentially, they passed a revenue-generating bill that originated in the Senate violating Article I, Section 7, of the Constitution that states all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House.

Although it is not an enumerated power given to congress via the constitution, the Federal government has been involved in health for decades. Legally, Medicare is different from the Affordable Care Act because it is an amendment to the Social Security Act and is recognized as a government program, not an entitlement. The key difference between previous government healthcare programs was the Individual Mandate that forces people to buy a private product. This is where the Affordable care act draws the most ire from conservatives, who in large part are in support of government safety net programs for the poor and elderly.

The individual mandate is a great leap forward into even more government intrusion into our lives. We already live in a country where rights are often seen as privileges, and you need a license in most states to do something as simple as going fishing with your kids. But the Obamacare individual mandate, something that was upheld at the supreme court, gives the government the power to compel you to buy a product from a private business. In this case, giant healthcare companies. This is a power that is ripe for abuse. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, signed into law by President Trump, removed the tax penalty for not having insurance at $0. It did not eliminate the individual mandate, and congress still has the power to force you to buy any product it thinks necessary and proper.


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Eric Martin

Husband. Father. Veteran. Purple Heart Recipient Twitter: @actionaxiom