We, the people, must save health care
By Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is President of Family Research Council. This article appeared on Fox News, July 11, 2012.
A little over two years ago a liberal Congress railroaded the American people with the most costly government program ever concocted. And the Supreme Court recently decided to get on board and play conductor. While Wednesday's vote in the House of Representatives to repeal ObamaCare is important, the president and the U.S. Senate continue to stand in the way. That means it is up to we, the people to derail this runaway threat to our freedom and our nation's fiscal stability.
Without a doubt the Supreme Court surprised everyone when they failed to shut down the president's hastily assembled health care scheme, one that was rammed through Congress, largely unread by those who voted for it. Many observers, myself included, thought the Court would hit the switch and send ObamaCare to the congressional turntable from whence it came. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
Adding to the surprise was the rationale for upholding the most costly expansion of government in modern history: the forced fare was not a penalty but a tax.
The dissecting of Chief Justice John Roberts' opinion is now left to the historical and legal scholars as they attempt to explicate the Chief Justice's reasoning. I don't see how penalizing citizens for something they choose not to do (in this case, purchase health insurance) was in the mind of the Founders when they gave Congress a limited power of taxation.
Regardless, the indisputable fact is that we need to stop an out-of-control train that has left the station. Our focus should be on the question, "How do we stop what is certain to be a threat to every freedom that crosses its path?" It is on this one point that reading the words of the Chief Justice is helpful.
"Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. 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."
In other words, Congress made this mess; it's not up to the Supreme Court to fix it. And if the mess is going to get cleaned up, it's up to the people.
How are we, the people supposed to clean up the mess? Justice Roberts' decision provides the answer: Throw those who created ObamaCare out of office and replace them with people who will not only exercise good judgment, but more importantly abide by the clearly stated limits of the Constitution.
This should not be limited to just those who voted for Mr. Obama's government takeover of health care. Without question, it should be extended to those in both political parties who fail to commit to anything short of a total repeal of a measure that is already barreling down the tracks toward a collision with fiscal sanity and religious freedom.
Beginning next month, the Obama administration's oppressive contraceptive mandate goes into effect for businesses. It also starts the one year "grace" period for religious organizations that will be forced to comply after the elections if ObamaCare is not repealed.
In other words, the sacred right of conscience, so vital to our nation for 236 years, is directly in the path of the Obama health care express.
Yet this train is loaded with even more threats to our freedoms:
1) The Independent Payment Advisory Board, (IPAB), i.e. a rationing board, which will determine who gets medical care and what kind of care that will be;
2) Subsidies for health plans that include abortion coverage in the state health insurance exchanges;
3) Inclusion of a mandatory abortion fee in all exchange plans covering abortion;
4) Direct funding of abortion through specific federal spending in community health clinics and high-risk insurance pools; and
5) Subsidies for elective abortion in the government run multi-state plans.
Bear in mind, the Obama plan puts us on a track with no crossing guards to safeguard the conscience rights of businesses, providers, and health insurers who refuse to provide abortion coverage.
However the Courts' judicial gymnastics of concluding that the individual mandate was legal because it is a tax is resulting in the largest tax increase in history. It's been estimated that by 2016 that 75 percent of the burden will fall upon households with incomes of less than $120,000.
In addition, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, has testified before Congress that the Obama health care law will cost up to 800,000 full-time jobs over roughly the next decade. Given the precarious state of the economy - just last month, the Department of Labor said our unemployment rate is back at 8.2 percent and that "unemployment rates increased in 255 of the nation's 372 largest metro areas" - job losses of this size are simply unacceptable.
The largest threat though is the precedent that is now set, a precedent that will be too tempting for future Congresses to ignore. If the extent of Congress' ability to force citizens to engage in activity is limited only by what the people will tolerate, it is time to establish those limits.
Every American who values freedom and understands how costly this deceptive scheme will be to our nation's economic future should pledge to vote only for those who:
1) Commit to repeal ObamaCare in its entirety.
2) Affirm that the Constitution imposes limits on government, not unlimited license to do whatever it wishes.
It is now up to we, the people to stop ObamaCare in its tracks. Take the pledge to vote today at ipledge2vote.org.