U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a leading Senate conservative who has long opposed Obamacare today reacted to the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling that upholds the constitutionality of President Obama's signature legislative item.
"I am disappointed that the court has upheld the individual mandate as a tax," said Inhofe. "By ruling it a tax, I suspect that this issue will come up again in 2015 when that portion of the law goes into effect. In the meantime, even though President Obama said in 2009 that this is "absolutely not a tax increase,' it turns out that Obama and the Democrats have levied an enormous tax increase on the middle and lower classes. The individual mandate will cost Americans the greater of a per-person flat fee or percentage of the household's income. The flat fee is up to $695, and the income percentage is up to 2.5 percent. That is just not workable for most families.
"Aspects of the measure have infringed upon religious rights, cost our economy jobs, and will add to our skyrocketing federal debt. Despite promising to bring health care costs down, the Congressional Budget Office projects that costs will continue to rise and more people will become dependent upon the federal government for their health care coverage. This law increases premiums for families by $2,100 per year, and will put one in six hospitals in the red because of cuts to Medicare, jeopardizing access to treatment. In addition to the $52 billion in tax penalties on employers, this law will mean 800,000 fewer jobs at a time when unemployment has been at 8 percent or higher for 40 straight months."
Inhofe continued, "In short, Obamacare costs too much in the form of lost rights, lost jobs, higher taxes, and increased debt. I will join with my colleagues to repeal this law and pursue sensible healthcare reform."
In March, Inhofe joined with Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to speak out against the law at the conclusion of the Supreme Court's third day of hearing arguments.
In January, Inhofe filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court urging the court to strike down the law.