Today the United States Supreme Court released its landmark ruling on President Obama's Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Contrary to President Obama's argument when he was seeking to pass the bill, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the individual mandate at the heart of the act was a tax and thus was constitutional. As a result, the law was largely upheld.
"When the PPACA was being debated, I stated that I felt this was bad policy that would lead to fewer jobs, more debt, higher healthcare costs, and reduced access to quality care in our rural areas. Further, I have contended this law never addressed the primary problem with our healthcare system: cost. Contrary to the PPACA's stated purpose of making healthcare "affordable", the Act ignored the aspects within our healthcare system that inflate expenses. Our healthcare system is in need of significant reforms, but these reforms must address the problems of cost.
While I am disappointed by the decision, it just further highlights the importance of electing a Congress that does not pass bad policy in the first place. The Obama Administration and the last Congress ignored the public concerns and ramrodded this bad legislation through the legislative process. Unlike the legislative and executive branches, the judicial branch does not have the responsibility to listen to public opinion or to ensure a particular policy is good for the nation; they are merely tasked to determine if the Constitution permits it. While I disagree, in the judgment of the Supreme Court, it does.
It is my expectation the House will immediately get back to work on addressing the major issues that face our healthcare system. First and foremost, we must repeal the PPACA. Then, as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, I am anxious to get to work on passing sound, common sense legislative reforms that will put patients -- the consumers of health care -- in charge."