A little known fact about America’s laws is that the published form of an act of Congress is not the actual law passed by Congress. Despite all the months of debate over various clauses and kickbacks, the published text of the law is largely irrelevant to how the law is enacted. The unpublished text of the law, however, is strictly adhered to by all the authorities, including the President, the executive branch bureaucracies charged with enforcing the law, and the Supreme Court. Last week’s Supreme Court decision made this plain.
The published text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act can be found online for all to see, but the text of the law doesn’t explain the Court’s decision, and it is apparent that the Court relied on the hitherto unpublished Actual Text of the PPACA.
Did I say hitherto? That’s right. Here is the actual text of the PPACA, that defines the United States Government’s regulations over all health care services in the United States:
[111th Congress Public Law 148]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[[Page 124 STAT. 119]]
Public Law 111-148
An Act Entitled The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. <<NOTE: Mar. 23, 2010 – [H.R. 3590]>>
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.>>
SECTION 1. THE COMPLETE TEXT OF THE ACT
President Barack Obama is authorized to regulate the provision of health care for residents of the United States in any way he sees fit in accordance with the current consensus of the New York Times and Harvard University. Mr. Obama and his agents are authorized to increase taxes, enact new taxes, forbid certain acts of commerce, compel certain acts of commerce, and levy fines and other punishments in order to achieve the intentions of Congress when passing this ACT.
See, it all makes sense now.