By Bob Goodlatte
Friday, March 23rd marks the two year anniversary of President Obama signing into law the disastrous government takeover of our health care system. Two years ago, as Congressional Democrats pushed the so-called health care reform through Congress, they assured the American people that health care costs would go down and that individuals would be able to keep their current health insurance if they liked it. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, the Democrats' heath care reform, which I strongly opposed, created more than 150 new government agencies and programs at a cost of $1.8 trillion. It mandates that folks buy health insurance, makes significant cuts to Medicare and includes billions in devastating new tax increases.
Almost immediately after this misguided legislation was signed into law, states Attorneys General from across the country began filing lawsuits against the federal government. It has taken two years but finally the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments regarding the constitutionality of the President's health care law. The case will focus on the individual mandate and $17 billion penalty that Americans will be facing if they do not purchase health insurance. All Americans should be worried anytime the federal government tries to trample on or ignore our Constitution and in fact a recent Gallup poll shows that seventy-two percent of Americans believe the individual mandate is unconstitutional.
In addition to the lawsuits that have been filed, House Republicans are working in Congress to defund the individual mandate. I am a cosponsor and strong supporter of legislation which would prohibit any federal funds from being used to implement or enforce a federal mandate to purchase health insurance.
While the individual insurance mandate is perhaps the most troubling provision of the new health care reform law, there are a whole host of others. Multiple reports have come out indicating that the new law has certainly not lived up to the Democrats' promises and will in fact result in higher premiums, more spending, and new mandates.
Over the last year, House Republicans have taken very seriously our commitment to the American people that we would work to repeal the so-called health care reform law. We have held twenty-six votes on the floor of the House to repeal, defund or dismantle this monstrosity and forty-seven Committee hearings have been held in six different Committees. This kind of pressure has resulted in three of the programs included in the law being halted and $305 million having been defunded from the IRS, to prevent them from implementing the tax provisions included in the original law. But our work is not done. House Republicans are committed to repealing the new health care law in its entirety and so we will continue challenging the government takeover of our health care system at every possible turn.