On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court voted to uphold Obamacare. This unprecedented overhaul of our health care system is the most controversial piece of legislation that I have seen during my tenure in Congress. Like millions of Americans, I fundamentally disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision. Simply put, the Constitution makes clear that the federal government has defined and limited powers. Forcing individuals to buy health insurance or be levied with an estimated $800 billion tax hike is clearly outside this power.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court got this one wrong. It isn’t the first time the Supreme Court has issued an opinion that is just plain incorrect. In the infamous 1857 Dred Scott v Sanford case, the Supreme Court overturned the Congressionally passed Missouri Compromise and ruled that African-Americans were not U.S. citizens and thus not protected by the Constitution. This horrendous decision was eventually overturned by the 14th Amendment. In the 1896 case Plessy v Ferguson, the Supreme Court upheld state laws that required racial segregation. This decision was overturned by the 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v Board of Education. In 1944, the Supreme Court ruled in Korematsu v U.S. that because it was impossible to separate loyal Japanese-Americans from disloyal ones, the civil rights of all Japanese-Americans citizens could be restricted and the court upheld the charges against the plaintiff, George Korematusu. In 1983, these charges were overturned.
Victory for the Obama Administration in this case is a huge loss for the American people. This ruling means the largest tax increase in American history, up to 20 million Americans losing their employer-provided health insurance, an average increase in premiums of more than $2,000 per family, $500 billion in cuts for seniors on Medicare and trillions of dollars in additional debt. The American people don’t deserve to have the government involved in their personal health care decisions, and I believe that come November they will make it abundantly clear that this decision must also be overturned.
The Administration advanced three arguments to support its assertion that the law was constitutional. Tellingly, it was the Administration’s third-choice argument on which the Supreme Court relied to uphold the law. The law was allowed to stand because the Supreme Court found that the mandate to buy health insurance was actually a tax. However, from the beginning, the President repeatedly stated that his health care law was not a tax, only to have the Supreme Court ultimately uphold his signature law solely on the basis that it is a tax.
The American people have voiced their concerns over Obamacare for the past two years, and throughout the debate on the law, House and Senate Republicans repeatedly objected to this unprecedented government overreach. During a time of economic crises, the President and the large Democrat majority in Congress in 2010 chose to ignore the American people and shun Republican Members of Congress in an ill-advised attempt to engineer a government takeover of health care. During this time, the President could have been truly serving the needs of the American people by working with Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to enact pro-growth policies to improve our economy and create wealth and jobs for all Americans. Instead, the Democrats acted on their own and, the American people have been forced to suffer the consequences.
While the Supreme Court may have upheld Obamacare, the House of Representatives will vote in July to repeal it in its entirety. House Republicans have already voted 30 times to repeal, defund, or dismantle all or portions of Obamacare. In the written opinion of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote “members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgements. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” Congressional Republicans will continue to stand in firm opposition to Obamacare, while Congressional Democrats and President Obama will likely continue to fervently support their extreme government takeover. However, come November it will be the American people who have the last word.