Congressman Bob Goodlatte issued this statement following the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.
"It has been over two years since President Obama and Congressional Democrats rammed the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act through Congress, over the strong objections of the vast majority of Americans. Almost immediately dozens of lawsuits were filed over the constitutionality of this monstrosity and today, with all eyes on the highest Court in our land, the Supreme Court has ruled the individual mandate, the cornerstone of the President's health care law, unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause. However, the Court upheld the individual mandate as a tax, striking a blow to the principle of limited government that is laid out in our Constitution and a very bad result for the American people.
In 1819, as Daniel Webster argued the case of McCulloch v. Maryland before the Supreme Court, he stated that "an unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily a power to destroy." His argument was confirmed in Chief Justice John Marshall's decision when he agreed "that the power to tax involves the power to destroy is not to be denied."
These powerful words still ring true nearly 200 years later. As defined by the Supreme Court, this is now another tax on the American people. With this disappointing decision the law remains intact, raising taxes, killing jobs, and hampering economic growth, while doing nothing to rein in soaring health care costs.
Although the Supreme Court, by counting the individual mandate as a tax, upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare, it certainly does not make it good policy. As I have said countless times, the Obamacare legislation is defined by federal regulations, mandates, a myriad of new big government programs, massive cuts to the Medicare program and a significant increase in federal spending and debt at a cost to our country too high to bear. In fact, the Administration has already issued over 12,000 pages of regulations relating to this law and the 150 new government agencies, boards and programs it creates, giving Washington bureaucrats ultimate control over what is best for you and your family.
At a time when removing barriers to employment including the threat of higher taxes, new government regulations and costly mandates is more important than ever, the Obamacare law is simply the wrong prescription for health care reform. That is why I have steadfastly worked to repeal this monstrosity and replace it with common sense patient-centered reforms. I have voted nearly thirty times to repeal, defund and dismantle Obamacare and I intend to continue working to see the law repealed in its entirety.
I know Americans are frustrated by rising health care costs. We in Congress must work in a bipartisan way to cut health insurance costs and make health care better, more available, and more affordable for families and individuals. We can do that by empowering patients with choices and protecting and preserving the doctor-patient relationship. Specifically, Congress should focus on policies that allow for the purchase of health insurance across state lines, allows individuals and small businesses to join large pools to get more competitive rates, provides tort reform to cut down the high cost of defensive medicine, allows full tax deductibility of health insurance premiums, and allows portability of health insurance. These are the kind of initiatives that will help Americans obtain the best quality health care at the least cost, and ensure that the government fosters increased access to quality care based on individual choice, not by taking away choices from people on the grounds that government knows best."