Now that President Barack Obama has been re-elected and Democrats still control the Senate, Republicans no longer have the chance to repeal Obamacare.
But all is not lost. There’s still an opportunity for America to stop this disaster by choking the life out of the federal monstrosity. Obama’s signature legislative achievement is likely headed back to the Supreme Court.
Just last week, the high court ordered a lower federal court to take up a lawsuit by the patriots at Liberty University, who claim Congress violated the college’s religious freedoms by forcing it to provide federally mandated insurance and requiring payment for abortion-related services.
Liberty University also argues that the individual mandate is unconstitutional because it infringes on the free exercise of religion by forcing citizens to fund abortion.
“God created human life. Its sanctity and dignity are protected by God,” said Mathew Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, who represents Liberty University in the case. “We have no right to take innocent human lives, and certainly we cannot be forced to fund the taking of innocent life — basically forced to fund murder. We can’t do that. That’s a line that we simply cannot cross.”
Staver is absolutely right: There’s no middle ground in this fight. Citizens and employers shouldn’t be forced to choose between obeying the law and honoring the Sixth Commandment.
This month, federal courts have blocked the Obama administration from imposing its contraceptive mandate on Tyndale, a Bible publisher, and O’Brien Industrial Holdings, a Missouri mining company. The Christian-owned craft chain, Hobby Lobby, is fighting a similar legal battle against the mandate. The company says fines could reach as much as $1 million a day if it doesn’t cover abortion-inducing drugs for its employees. About three-dozen Christian companies and colleges are fighting the mandate in court.
In June, the president said, “(Insurance companies) are required to provide free preventive care like checkups and mammograms … .” The law also subsidizes care for people who pay more than 8 percent of their income for health insurance.
But Obamacare isn’t “free.” The money must come from somewhere. Even if patients don’t pay for their health care directly, Americans face higher taxes to fund the facilities, doctors and services.
When consumers perceive health care to be “free,” they use more medical services and create an overwhelming demand for them — which will eventually exceed supply. Then, government will be faced with a limited number of options: 1) ration health services, 2) increase the cost of your health care or 3) ignore the issue, as patients’ access to health care is severely restricted.
We see these issues arise in other countries with national health care. Patients in Britain and Canada often face long wait times — even in emergency rooms — to receive basic care that’s so accessible here in the U.S. In fact, Europeans and Canadians are known to travel to the U.S. rather than wait for their own health services.
My wife, Gena, and I have been to other countries that have socialized medicine, and it doesn’t work out well for people. When we visited Russia some 15 years ago, a young lady in her 20s suffered from a toothache. When asked why she didn’t see a dentist, the woman said the care is too expensive and even seeing a doctor could mean waiting eight months to a year.
To make matters worse, Obamacare calls for establishment of an Independent Payment Advisory Board, made up of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats who make a wide range of health care decisions — including the ability to approve or deny medical treatments recommended by your doctors.
It’s no wonder so many states are outright refusing to cooperate with Washington on this massive federal power grab.
Obama’s takeover calls for states to expand Medicaid, creating serious fiscal liabilities for the states if federal taxpayers don’t pick up the bill every year. Obamacare also requires states to develop governmental programs that will create online health “exchanges,” itemizing available health plans.
For Florida alone, “startup costs ‘are projected at $92.3 million’ through next year, and annual operating costs to the state — based on experience in Illinois — could range from $57.4 million to $88.6 million by 2016.”
States shudder at the thought of being saddled with the cost of running those exchanges, especially when they have so little local control under this federal program. They have until Dec. 14 to tell the Obama administration whether they will set up exchanges or default to a federal version.
In 2010, John Graham, director of health care studies at the Pacific Research Institute, urged states to boycott the exchanges.
“States establishing Obamacare exchanges are making a one-way, lose-lose bet,” he wrote. “If Obamacare persists, exchanges will become bloated administrative nightmares.”
Obama’s federal takeover of the nation’s health insurance is unconstitutional on its face. It exceeds Congress’ power to regulate commerce among the states. It expands the federal government’s authority beyond the enumerated powers listed in the Constitution. It threatens religious liberty, and it imposes an unconstitutional tax on Americans.
If we can’t repeal Obamacare in its entirety, let’s support each of these efforts to peel away every one of its unconstitutional layers to preserve our liberty, the quality of American health care and the fiscal stability of our nation.