In the wake of today’s historic Supreme Court ruling upholding the key provision in President Obama’s health care act, opponents are spending little time lamenting their loss, vowing to repeal the massive law and help channel a “revolutionary fervor” among voters that will sweep Democrats from office in November.
The head of the Republican Attorney’s General Association declared “the battle isn’t over,” and a veteran conservative activist says that if America thought tea party anger over Obamacare was reflected in the 2010 polls, wait until this fall.
“The 2010 Tea Party wave election was all about the average American’s anger over the individual mandate and the oppressive big government that it represents,” explained Richard A. Viguerie, chairman of ConservativeHQ.com.
“The Supreme Court’s narrow decision upholding the individual mandate has raised that anger to a revolutionary fervor that will sweep President Obama and many other Democrats from office,” he asserted.
Viguerie said Democrats “have now been put in the position of doubling down on the Big Brother mandates and oppressive big government policies that led to their historic defeat in the 2010 congressional elections.”
“The more Democrats defend the individual mandate, the more seats in Congress Democrats will lose,” he said.
Viguerie said it’s worth noting that Obama and the Democrats lost today on the heart of the mandate, the argument that the Constitution’s Commerce Clause could force Americans to buy health insurance.
“But the mandate was upheld on the issue the Democrats were trying to hide: It is a massive tax increase on the American people,” he said.
Viguerie vowed the 63 seats Democrats lost in the House in 2010 “are just the beginning.”
Michael A. Needham, CEO of the nonprofit Heritage Action for America, said in a letter to supporters that the nation’s “system of checks and balances ensures the Supreme Court’s misguided decision will not be the final word on President Obama’s government takeover of healthcare.”
“We still oppose Obamacare,” he wrote, “and conservatives are still united around fully repealing President Obama’s government takeover of our health care system. Today’s decision is not the end of the fight, it is the beginning!”
Rescuing America from ‘disastrous future’
Scott Pruitt, chairman of the Republican Attorney’s General Association, said it’s “now up to the political process to repeal the act and replace it with measures that address the health care crisis within the confines of the Constitution.”
“We must continue to oppose this act and multiple overreaching regulations proposed by the Obama administration that cross the line of federal power,” he said.
Pruitt said that in November, the American people will have the opportunity to “save the country from a disastrous future of similar intrusive policies and budget-busting costs by choosing their leaders wisely.”
He promised Republican attorneys general “will continue to serve as a firewall, taking every action to defend our states against this massive overreach from the federal government.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said the Republican-controlled House will schedule a vote to repeal the health care law after the July 4 recess.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio said the president’s health care law is hurting the economy by driving up health costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire.
“Today’s ruling underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety,” he said. “What Americans want is a common-sense, step-by-step approach to health care reform that will protect Americans’ access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a lower cost.”
Outside the Supreme Court building after the decision, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, got behind a microphone to declare the ruling exposes the president as a liar.
The congressman noted that Obama had insisted before the ruling that the mandate was not a tax.
“The Supreme Court has made clear that when the president says something, you need to understand that he may be lying,” he said.
The congressman said the ruling shows Obama will do whatever is necessary to get a bill passed.
‘Cleaning up the mess’
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., said that after Obama and the Democrats “shoved a disastrous health care bill down the throats of the American people creating an even bigger mess of our health care system,” the Supreme Court “has spoken and left the job of cleaning up that mess to the Congress.”
“It’s now time for the American people to speak out and reject the job killing, massive tax increasing, government takeover of health care that is Obamacare by electing a president and representatives willing to fully repeal and replace this monstrosity,” Rohrabacher said.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney saw the court’s ruling as a further clarification of the choice Americans will make at the ballot box in November.
“You can choose whether you want to have a larger and larger government, more and more intrusive in your life, separating you and your doctor, whether you’re comfortable with more deficits, higher debt that we will pass onto the coming generations,” Romney said. “[Or] whether you’re willing to have the government put in place a plan that potentially causes you to lose the insurance that you like or whether instead you want to return to a time when the American people will have their own choice in health care, where consumers will be able to make share choices as to what kind of health insurance they want.”
Romney said that if Americans “want to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to have to replace President Obama.”
He emphasized that while the court ruled Obamacare doesn’t violate the Constitution, it did not say that Obamacare “is good law or that it’s good policy.”
“Obamacare was bad policy yesterday. It’s bad policy today,” he said.
Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign re-election manager, chided Romney for missing “the opportunity to rise to the occasion today and tell the American people specifically how he would move the nation forward on health care and ensure people get the care they need.”
“Instead of explaining how he would ensure costs don’t go up and health benefits are protected, Romney promised to repeal the president’s health reform law and take America back to the same old political battles of the past,” he said.
Messina claimed Romney’s promise to repeal the law would give insurance companies “free rein to exploit Americans through the worst industry abuses, strip 86 million Americans of often life-saving preventive care, cost 3.1 million young Americans of their coverage by kicking them off their parents’ plans, allow insurance companies to discriminate against kids with preexisting conditions, and increase prescription drug costs for seniors on Medicare.”
‘Recipe for tyranny’
Responding to today’s ruling, Peter J. Thomas, chairman of the Conservative Caucus, said a “living Constitution” is “the recipe for tyranny.”
“This election will be a referendum on Obamacare, and Americans must pressure both the House and Senate to fully repeal Obamacare, pass true conservative, market reforms and not seek compromises and deals with liberals,” said Thomas, who criticized Chief Justice Roberts for siding with the left.
Thomas proposed a number of reforms, including a universal tax credit or voucher enabling all Americans to buy a solid health insurance package; tort reform; individual health savings accounts; and a national market in which individuals can buy from any insurance company.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, meanwhile, hailed the decision as “a victory for millions of people – including LGBT people and our families – who don’t have access to adequate, affordable health care.”
“This ruling is fair and humane, but it also reminds us of the work that remains to be done,” the group said. “People of color and economically impoverished people are disproportionately affected by health inequities.”
The group also contended “LGBT people” suffer from “higher rates of health disparities.” It wants the Department of Health and Human Services to “use its authority to make inroads in areas such as data collection and research on LGBT health disparities.”
“We celebrate today, but also pledge to keep pressing forward,” the group said.
The task force noted that beginning in 2014, insurance companies won’t be able to deny health care coverage because of a pre-existing condition, “which will ensure people with HIV or who have received gender transition-related care will still be able to get the health care coverage they need.”
Opting out of Obamacare
Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, said he strongly disagrees with the decision but was not surprised.
“The court has a dismal record when it comes to protecting liberty against unconstitutional excesses by Congress,” he said.
“Today we should remember that virtually everything government does is a ‘mandate,’” he said. “The issue is not whether Congress can compel commerce by forcing you to buy insurance, or simply compel you to pay a tax if you don’t. The issue is that this compulsion implies the use of government force against those who refuse.”
Paul said the “fundamental hallmark of a free society should be the rejection of force.”
“In a free society, therefore, individuals could opt out of ‘Obamacare’ without paying a government tribute.”
Paul, a licensed physician, said Obamacare “can only increase third party interference in the doctor-patient relationship, increase costs and reduce the quality of care.”
“Only free market medicine can restore the critical independence of doctors, reduce costs through real competition and price sensitivity and eliminate enormous paperwork burdens,” he said. “Americans will opt out of Obamacare with or without Congress, but we can seize the opportunity today by crafting the legal framework to allow them to do so.”
He said the ruling will create a resurgence in the tea-party movement that will carry on through the November elections.
Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., called it “the most historic decision by our nation’s highest court in over a generation.”
“The ruling lays the groundwork for the federal government to seize even more power over our lives,” he said. “This is a dramatic expansion of congressional and government authority.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and a current member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today, the president’s law is still bad policy and must be fully repealed.
He pointed to the law’s $2.6 trillion price tag when it’s fully implemented over a 10 year period and the more than $500 billion increase in taxes that will be passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices for patients, lower wages for employees and fewer jobs in the economy, citing the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation.
He also cited the National Health Expenditure Projections prediction of an 8 percent increase in premiums largely fueled by Obamacare’s collective mandates.
Rep. Bob Turner, R-N.Y., noted “several more taxes and burdensome regulations on small businesses are set to go into effect in the next two years” as a result of Obamacare.
“Congress must now rededicate itself to repealing Obamacare and replacing it with commonsense proposals that will lower health care costs for all Americans,” he said.
Turner said that while today’s ruling is complicated and will take time to fully understand, it’s clear “this decision has made the law’s implementation more complicated and difficult for states, small business and families.”
“This is not what we need in these trying economic times,” he said.
Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., who is also the former attorney general of the Golden State, told WND Chief Justice Roberts was “stretching” to find the plan constitutional. In the process, the congressman said Roberts gave Congress much greater power through taxation.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli called today “a dark day for liberty” in a radio interview with WND. But he also said it is very significant that the court found the mandate unconstitutional on grounds of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause. He called those rulings the greatest judicial constraint of federal power since the New Deal in the 1930s.
Stephen DeMaura, president of Americans for Job Security, said “the American people are faced with the reality that this legislation is what we’ve said all along: the nation’s largest and broadest tax increase in history.”
“While President Obama promised not to raise taxes on America’s middle class, the Supreme Court today confirmed that he has raised taxes on not only the middle class, but every single American,” DeMaura said. “We will continue our fight against this big-government legislation that Americans overwhelmingly oppose, as it will kill jobs, encourage healthcare costs to rise even further, and shackle the free-market and American liberty.”
The College Republican National Committee issued a statement saying the decision “only heightens our country’s need to oust President Obama in November.”
The group noted a recent Rasmussen poll showed 54 percent of American voters strongly oppose Obamacare.
“Obamacare brings on $500 billion in new taxes. Those taxes will fall to the feet of young people in particular, who will be footing the bill for this policy for decades to come,” said Alex Schriver, the committee’s national chairman.
Schriver said Obamacare not only burdens taxpayers, “it has also been shown to stifle job growth in an already grim labor market.”
He noted that more than 1,200 waivers from the Obama health law have been granted to businesses who knew their ability to hire would be significantly impacted by the policy.
Melinda Delahoyde, president of the pro-life group Care Net, which assists pregnant women in finding alternatives to abortion, said the Obama law fails to protect the most vulnerable patients in America, unborn children.
“Instead, it sets up a legislative framework for regulations which force employers to fund life-ending pharmaceuticals and establish a funding source for abortions in subsidized insurance plans,” she said.
She pointed to mandates in the law that directly conflict with Americans constitutional right to religious liberty and conscience.
“Congress must act now and in any future health care legislation, to protect the conscience rights of all medical professionals and faith-based employers,” she urged.
The American Life League President Judie Brown called it “a sad day for the people of this once great nation where liberty has always been equated with freedom of religion, freedom from oppression and freedom of speech.”
“The government’s draconian health care law denies so many rights that the true result is yet unknown, but surely liberty has been trounced in unbelievable fashion,” she said.
Brown emphasized her primary loyalty to God and said civil disobedience must be considered an option in response to the advance of Obamacare.
“Let us pray for our nation,” she continued. “We must remember in these dark days that, while we are proud to be Americans, our primary loyalty is to God, not man and surely not the government. Civil disobedience appears to be one of the few options we have, and we say bring it.”
National Right to Life President Carol Tobias warned that if President Obama wins re-election, “it will mean massive abortion subsidies, and it will put the lives of millions at risk through systematic government-imposed rationing of lifesaving medical care.”
She said the ruling today is a “call-to-action for the right-to-life electorate to work to elect a Congress and president this November committed to repealing Obamacare in 2013.”
Tobias said that under the enacted law, federal tax-based subsidies will begin in 2014 to subsidize millions of private insurance plans that will cover abortion-on-demand, including some multi-state plans that will be administered by the federal government.
Under another provision of the law, the federal government could even order many plans that do not receive federal subsidies to cover abortion as a “preventive” service, she also pointed out.
Unless repealed, she warned, Obamacare “will give federal bureaucrats the power to impose so-called ‘quality’ measures on all health care providers, under which treatment that a doctor and patient deem needed to save that patient’s life or preserve the patient’s health but which runs afoul of the imposed standards will be denied, even if the patient is willing and able to pay for it.”
In 2015 and thereafter, she noted, an 18-member “Independent Payment Advisory Board” is directed to inform the federal Department of Health and Human Services how to use the imposed standards to limit what private citizens are permitted to spend on their own families’ health care to below the rate of medical inflation.
Catholic League President Bill Donohue noted the Supreme Court did not rule today on the constitutionality of the right of the Obama administration to force Catholic non-profits to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization in their insurance plans.
“Obamacare may have survived, but it is by no means a lock that the HHS mandate will,” he said. “It is one thing to levy a tax, quite another to level the First Amendment.”
The nation’s largest faith-based association of physicians, the Christian Medical Association, the CMA, said the decision “threatens health care choice and sounds an alarm across the country to people with faith-based and pro-life convictions.”
CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens said the high court “unfortunately could not muster enough justices willing to uphold the constitutional principles of limited government and separation of powers that have guided our nation since its founding.”
“This ruling sounds an alarm across the country to people with faith-based and pro-life convictions, to poor patients who depend on physicians with these values and to all patients who value choosing their own health care,” he said.
“Who will stop U.S. Health and Human Services political appointees from forcing employers and individuals with faith-based convictions to subsidize abortion or life-ending contraceptives and imposing huge ‘faith fines’ on those of us who resist?” he asked.
He called on Congress to enact reforms such as protecting patient access to care by enacting strong conscience protections; containing the cost of health insurance by opening up competition across state lines; reducing cost and keeping physicians in medicine; and by reforming malpractice lawsuits and reducing bureaucracy.
Lawsuits will continue
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty announced its lawsuits challenging the mandate will continue.
“The court’s opinion today did not decide the issues in our cases,” said Hannah Smith, the group’s senior counsel. “We are challenging the Health and Human Services mandate on religious liberty grounds which are not part of today’s decision. We will move forward seeking vindication of our client’s First Amendment rights.”
The Supreme Court was not asked to review the mandate in the law that requires employers to provide drugs and services in their employee health care plans regardless of religious objections or face massive penalties.
“Never in history has there been a mandate forcing individuals to violate their deeply held religious beliefs or pay a severe fine, a fine which could force many homeless shelters, charities and religious institutions to shut their doors,” Smith said.
Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden said Obamacare “treats American citizens like subjects.”
“This administration has used the health care law to become a dictator of conscience,” he said. “The court’s decision is alarming and deeply wrong. Obamacare holds your health care hostage and offers no real choice. Either comply and abandon your religious freedom and conscience, or resist and be fined for your faith.”
He noted that all current ADF legal challenges to the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate will proceed, “and we are confident that the Supreme Court will strike it down as unconstitutional.”
Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan said that as a result of today’s decision, “there are now no limits to the reach of the federal government.”
“The president told us the individual mandate was not a tax,” he said. “Now the Supreme Court says it is. Either way, Obamacare must be repealed. It puts Washington in charge and devours trillions of taxpayer dollars without making a dent in the cost of health care.”
He sees an opportunity now to “repeal and restart,” taking the time “to get health care reform right with simple, common sense reforms and strong public support.
Mat Staver, founder and president of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law, said today’s “stunning decision” ignored the intent of Congress, “which did not intend the mandate to be a tax but rather a penalty.”
“Rulings like this on Obamacare undermine the confidence of the people in the competency of the Supreme Court to follow the rule of law,” he said. “Today’s decision damages the image of the Supreme Court and is bad for America.”
Staver said Obamacare is the largest funding of abortion in history.
“It will bankrupt America. It will destroy our health care system,” he said. “The law must now be repealed.”
A left-leaning non-profit, Americans United for Change, called the decision “awesome news to the millions of young adults under 26 that now have coverage thanks to Obamacare.”
“What a relief to parents of sick kids that won’t ever again hear the word ‘denied’ from some insurance company bureaucrat,” the group said.
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