Governor Gary R. Herbert expressed extreme disappointment today regarding the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. His staff is presently conducting a thorough legal and policy review. He has released the following statement:
The Affordable Care Act is the wrong focus by a side-tracked administration that thinks a massive, top-down government program is the solution. Government bureaucracy and inflated spending is the problem. This law has divided the nation at a time when we should be focused on fixing the economy.
This law may be constitutional, but it's still bad policy. The Affordable Care Act imposes a one-size-fits-all plan on all states, effectively driving us to the lowest common denominator. It results in burdensome regulation, higher costs, and a massive, budget-busting Medicaid expansion. Service is improved and costs are reduced through markets, not mandates. It is now up to the American people and Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a true market-based solution, a solution driven by states.
As Justice Roberts indicated, the Court took a legal position that Congress CAN enact such reform, not that Congress SHOULD implement such reform. It's time for an honest policy discussion about federal entitlements and debt. We need to implement a new plan that empowers individuals, and then works with market principles to expand choice and access to healthcare. At the end of the day, people - not government - should be responsible for making health decisions.
President Obama doesn't understand that markets, not mandates are the best way to reduce costs and improve service. He doesn't trust the market. It is up to the American people to resolve this now. If we want to replace Obamacare, we need to start by replacing Obama.
When it comes to the greatest policy challenges of our time, especially with regard to health care reform, we don't need a federal mandate to solve our problems. We need state solutions. Not once did the current administration seek state input when crafting its failed policy. We need solutions that empower the consumer, maximize consumer choice, enhance options, increase information to consumers, strengthen state flexibility and optimize limited resources. As 50 laboratories of innovation, states are the innovators and we are doing real reform in Utah. The voluminous rules and dictates in the ACA are like weeds in a ditch that are inhibiting the flow of state innovation.
Utah's market-oriented competition is a great example of sensible reforms that drive down costs and improve service. Insurance companies should compete for your business, not the other way around. Utahns enjoy unprecedented insurance choices and a broad access to health information.
The people of the United States - as patients and consumers, as employers and employees, deserve full repeal. As we look to the future, as we consider the fate of healthcare reform, I say look to the states, Washington, D.C. Look to the states. Let the states decide. The American people deserve nothing less.