By Newt Gingrich
Yesterday in Mason City, Iowa, I signed the Obamacare Repeal Pledge, sponsored by the Independent Women's Voice and American Majority Action.
Obamacare is such a massive and complex power grab of a law that there are countless specific reasons to oppose the law.
But as I was signing the repeal pledge, I reflected upon three big reasons that Obamacare must be repealed:
It's Unconstitutional. Period.
As Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has argued, if the federal government has the power to force you to purchase a product or service, there is no end to its power.
As I argue in my forthcoming book, A Nation Like No Other: Why American Exceptionalism Matters and show in Callista and my documentary, A City on a Hill: The Spirit of American Exceptionalism, Obamacare's mandate to purchase health insurance is an assault on our country's founding principles of limited, clearly delineated federal powers and an erosion of the rule of law.
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution clearly spells out the powers of the federal government. When the Democratic Congress passed Obamacare, the bill's supporters argued that the individual mandate was constitutionally justified under the Commerce Clause, a provision that gives Congress the power to "regulate Commerce among the several States."
This is a gross misinterpretation of the Commerce Clause. The Founders designed this clause to prevent American states from imposing tariffs on each other or engaging in other restrictive trade practices that would hamper the economy. But in the last century, big government advocates have misused this stipulation to justify federal regulation of energy, trucking, financial services, and assorted other activities.
Obamacare takes this overly-broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause to an absurd extreme.
If the federal government can force us to buy health insurance, what is stopping it from forcing us to buy other products?
This is why dozens of state attorneys general have filed suit against Obamacare, charging that the individual mandate is unconstitutional.
A Corrupt, Bureaucratic Power Grab
Aside from this mammoth expansion of federal power, Obamacare also violates the rule of law by granting vast discretion to administrative agencies.
In fact, Obamacare grants 1,968 new powers to government agencies and bureaucrats, most of them to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, who administers Obamacare. You can see all these powers spelled out on a massive wall chart at healthtransformation.net.
This discretionary power wielded by unelected bureaucrats presents an enormous danger for corruption. Indeed, we have already seen how they can be abused.
Obamacare empowers the Secretary of HHS to issue waivers that exempt companies and organizations from the law's many expensive and onerous requirements. To date, HHS has issued over a thousand waivers, including ones to Big Labor and other powerful supporters of the Democratic Party. This is all profoundly unfair to the millions of small businesses who lack the money and resources to influence Washington.
Yesterday, a report emerged that showed nearly 20% of the new waivers issued by HHS are in Nancy Pelosi's congressional district.
This arbitrary "rule by waiver" is a fundamental violation of the rule of law. In fact, it absolutely negates the rule of law, replacing it with the rule of HHS Secretary Sebelius, Obama, and the Democratic Party.
The Wrong Model
Finally, Obamacare's big government model, with its mandates, new bureaucracies and regulations, is simply the wrong way to lower costs and achieve better health outcomes.
It is Washington centered instead of individually centered.
The current market for health care is broken because consumers do not shop based on price and quality. We have to redesign the system into one that responds to these downward cost pressures, like every other functioning market does.
We can't do that by empowering bureaucrats and lawyers. Instead, you need to empower patients with access to quality information, including the real costs of the care they receive and give them the freedom to choose their providers based on that knowledge.
This will create a true healthcare marketplace where providers compete to provide the best care at the lowest cost.
In this free market model, the 71 million baby boomers entering retirement would represent a boom, not bust, for healthcare.
Will You Sign the Pledge?
The Obamacare Repeal Pledge is not just for lawmakers and candidates.
There is a space for citizens to sign as well to show support for repealing Obamacare.
So will you sign the pledge? Click here to sign.