During the debate over the president’s government takeover of health care, lively town hall meetings cropped up all across the country, many making national headlines. The dispute that began in Washington, D.C., raged like wildfire in main street America, as hardworking citizens voiced their concerns about the cost, control and accessibility of health care.
With a firm belief that any legislation that could change your health care should be crafted carefully, in the summer of 2009 I brought the fierce debate to Columbia County. My staff and I knew that our first event out of a series of health care town halls would be significant.
But none of us were prepared for the immense response that resulted in extra security, traffic congestion and back-to-back meetings to accommodate crowds.
Two years later, we are seeing the effects of the ill-prescribed pill President Barack Obama forced down our throats. From Medicare payment cuts, to increased insurance premiums, to costly mandates, regulations and taxes, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has proven to be an abysmal failure.
The 1099 tax reporting requirement was one of many burdens Obamacare placed upon small businesses. Fortunately, House Republicans led the charge, and in March we repealed this job-crushing provision.
Another example of a classic Obamacare failure is the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act. Despite promises from liberals that this long-term care program would pay for itself and produce $86 billion in “deficit reduction,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius acknowledged that “despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time.”
Every day, Americans are discovering that the Democrats used dishonest budgetary tricks to claim their health care overhaul was “paid for,” and every day, more and more taxpayers have decided that they want a refund on Obamacare.
That is why I will continue to fight for its repeal, and why I recently partnered with the American Center for Law and Justice to file an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court requesting that it take up the constitutionality of this government takeover of health care.
Of primary concern in our petition is the mandate that virtually every individual obtain health insurance. As the 11th Circuit properly concluded, the Commerce Clause does not give Congress the power to require anyone to purchase a product from a private company. And since the provision cannot be removed from the law, all of Obamacare should be deemed invalid.
With questions surrounding the constitutionality of the individual mandate, the repeal of the 1099 provision, and collapse of the CLASS Act, we are truly starting to see the wheels fall off the administration’s pride and joy. It is time that we put a stop to the implementation of Obamacare by repealing it and replacing it with a market-based solution.
One such solution is my Patient OPTION Act, which I am preparing to reintroduce to the 112th Congress. A lasting cure for health care reform, my OPTION Act would allow individuals to buy insurance across state lines, cover patients with pre-existing conditions, and improve access to health savings accounts – without government interference.
While I hope the Supreme Court will acknowledge the blatant unconstitutionality of Obamacare, I will continue to fight to ensure Americans receive the fresh start they deserve and that health care reform remains Constitutional and commonsense.
(Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, M.D., represents Georgia’s 10th Congressional District.)