Rip­ping out Oba­macare by the roots

Tyranny dis­guised as health care re­form en­dan­gers free­dom

The Washington Times Daily - - Metro - By Rep. Michele Bach­mann

Three days af­ter the sec­ond an­niver­sary of the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act, bet­ter known as Oba­macare, the Supreme Court be­gan hear­ing oral ar­gu­ments about its con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity. As the au­thor of the orig­i­nal bill to repeal Oba­macare, I am con­vinced that no decision in re­cent his­tory will have a more pro­found im­pact on our coun­try. I do not make that as­ser­tion lightly, even in the shadow of other land­mark cases.

If the Supreme Court chooses to af­firm Oba­macare, it will be an en­dorse­ment of the sin­gle largest ex­pan­sion of gov­ern­ment en­ti­tle­ments, gov­ern­ment power and gov­ern­ment so­cial en­gi­neer­ing in Amer­i­can his­tory. No one should be­lieve Oba­macare is sim­ply a bill to in­crease health care cov­er­age. In­stead, it is this pres­i­dent’s method of ex­act­ing so­cial change on the fab­ric on our coun­try. For this rea­son, I in­tro­duced a bill to repeal it min­utes af­ter its pas­sage. Ad­di­tion­ally, this is why the Supreme Court should find its man­date un­con­sti­tu­tional.

The Obama White House and cam­paign (some­times one and the same) are fully aware of the sig­nif­i­cance of the decision and re­cently launched their own public-re­la­tions cam­paign to demon­strate public sup­port for the bill. Yet the bill re­mains widely un­pop­u­lar with the Amer­i­can public.

A new CNN poll found that 59 per­cent op­pose the law. A re­cent USA To­day/gallup poll found that 72 per­cent think the in­di­vid­ual man­date, the heart of the bill, re­quir­ing all Amer­i­cans to pur­chase in­sur­ance or pay a fine, is un­con­sti­tu­tional. That be­lief is based on the Amer­i­can spirit, which burns in each one of us, that there is some­thing wrong with the gov­ern­ment re­quir­ing us to pur­chase goods or ser­vices — un­prece­dented in U.S. his­tory. It was this vi­o­la­tion of “spirit” that sparked the Tea Party move­ment’s strength and was the im­pe­tus for my found­ing of the Con­gres­sional Tea Party Cau­cus.

The bill al­ready is hav­ing dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects on the econ­omy, par­tic­u­larly in the area of job cre­ation. A U.S. Cham­ber of Com­merce Small Busi­ness Out­look Sur­vey con­ducted in July 2011 noted that 33 per­cent of busi­ness own­ers iden­ti­fied the health care law as ei­ther the great­est or sec­ond­great­est ob­sta­cle to hir­ing new em­ploy­ees. By Jan­uary 2012, an­other U.S. Cham­ber sur­vey saw that num­ber rise to 74 per­cent.

While the pres­i­dent promised more Amer­i­cans would be cov­ered, caus­ing in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums to de­crease, just the op­po­site has been the case. The bill’s own ar­chi­tect, Jonathan Gru­ber, re­cently back­tracked on the claim that pre­mi­ums would fall and ad­mit­ted that they will rise sharply as a re­sult of the “re­forms” in Oba­macare. We were warned just a few days ago by the Con­gres­sional Bud­get Of­fice that 20 mil­lion Amer­i­cans may lose their em­ployer-based health care cov­er­age when Oba­macare is fully im­ple­mented be­cause em­ploy­ers would rather pay a fine than pro­vide the level of ex­pen­sive in­sur­ance man­dated by Oba­macare.

We are only be­gin­ning to scratch the sur­face of Oba­macare. Never be­fore has a piece of leg­is­la­tion em­pow­ered an un­ac­count­able, un­elected of­fi­cial, in this case the sec­re­tary of health and hu­man ser­vices, to wield such enor­mous reg­u­la­tory power. We have just re­cently seen the first ev­i­dence of the abuse of that power, in­clud­ing the man­dat­ing of cov­er­age for the morn­ing-af­ter pill and rules forc­ing Ro­man Catholic in­sti­tu­tions to pro­vide cov­er­age for con­tra­cep­tives. This pro­vides a win­dow on how the ef­fects of the bill will ex­tend well be­yond health care to be­come the big­gest play­ground for the left in so­cial en­gi­neer­ing and re­cast­ing of Amer­i­can so­ci­ety.

Oba­macare is the gate­way to so­cial­ized medicine. There is no doubt that Oba­macare will col­lapse the health in­sur­ance and med­i­cal sys­tem we have now and will lead to a sin­gle-payer, so­cial­ized sys­tem as mil­lions lose their em­ployer-pro­vided in­sur­ance and mil­lions more are un­able to pay sky­rock­et­ing pri­vate in­sur­ance rates. The mech­a­nisms to fa­cil­i­tate this are al­ready in the law, such as the In­de­pen­dent Pay­ment Ad­vi­sory Board, which will lead to a ra­tioning of care be­cause of deep cuts it is charged with mak­ing to Medi­care. Board mem­bers be­gin their task $500 bil­lion in the hole, as Oba­macare re­moves that amount from Medi­care to pay for Oba­macare. This is but one way Oba­macare will lead to the col­lapse of the great­est health care sys­tem in the world, killing qual­ity care for all Amer­i­cans.

But the heart of Oba­macare is the in­di­vid­ual man­date, the un­con­sti­tu­tional re­quire­ment that all Amer­i­cans must pur­chase health in­sur­ance, and that is the is­sue the Supreme Court will de­cide in the com­ing weeks. Never has the gov­ern­ment made such a re­quire­ment. Oba­macare isn’t about a right to health care. It is about the gov­ern­ment telling you what you have to do or, more pre­cisely, what you must pur­chase. Gov­ern­ment should never in­fringe on per­sonal lib­erty like this, as it opens a gate­way to more egre­gious gov­ern­ment abuses of power that bor­der on tyranny.

That is why the court must kill Oba­macare by cut­ting out its heart and killing its roots. If the in­di­vid­ual man­date is found un­con­sti­tu­tional, the en­tire law is moot. What lib­er­als have done through Oba­macare is fan the flames of gov­ern­ment tyranny and threaten the God-given lib­erty of ev­ery Amer­i­can. This is why Oba­macare must be re­pealed, root and branch.


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