Thursday, June 28, 2012


The Supreme Court ruling on the president’s health care plan resulted in a sad day for freedom, liberty and the American people. In an activist decision, the court rewrote the foundation of the Affordable Care Act and then ruled it constitutional. But the effect on the American people will be the same: We will lose our own personal choice in health care and see greater intrusion by an already out-of-control federal government into the lives of individual citizens.

This decision will be remembered as one of the most detrimental in the history of the court and our country. While the American people lost in this case, they will prevail in November when the people have the final say on the president’s unpopular bill at the ballot box. Now, the only way to save the country from Obamacare’s budget-busting government takeover of health care is to completely repeal it. I will work tirelessly to ensure that we elect a new president, a Republican Senate and a Republican House of Representatives to ensure that goal.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority, “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” While I may disagree with the outcome of the ruling, Justice Roberts is correct and the court’s ruling should serve as a rallying cry for every American who opposes this law to show their will through the political choices they make this fall. Those choices will be clear.

The American people can choose a party that believes that government knows what is best for your health care, comes between you and your doctor and raises your taxes to make those choices for you. Or the American people can choose a party that believes in the free market and will repeal this massive intrusion on the freedom of Americans and allow us to make our own health care decisions and buy the kind of insurance we want.

Every day, I am reminded of the important connection we have to the principles of freedom and justice by a painting, Howard Chandler Christy’s depiction of the “Signing of the Constitution of the United States,” which hangs in the East Grand Stairway of the United States Capitol.

But never was the painting’s reminder more moving than on the evening of March 21, 2010, the day the president’s health care plan was passed. Ben Franklin stares out from the painting in a consistent reminder of the fragility of the republic given to us by Franklin and the rest of the founders. That day served as the inspiration for me to fight for the repeal of Obamacare, because I believed firmly that what we had done in passing it endangered our nation. I believed that it was my obligation to ensure that President Obama’s program of socialized medicine was stopped before it became fully implemented.

The court’s decision has affirmed my belief. This is not the path the founders envisioned. This decision and Ben Franklin’s image will motivate me every day. We can return our republic to the path where Americans have the right to live their lives as they so choose, where they have the opportunity for a good job and a bright economic future, and where they and their children aren’t saddled with an enormous debt from a government that’s too big and spends too much.

Obamacare represented the largest expansion of entitlement spending and playground of left-wing social engineering in our country’s history. The president’s health care plan was a power grab by big-government liberals who do not understand that the answer to rising health care costs is not more bureaucracy and higher taxes.

At a moment when he should have been focused on jobs and the economy, Mr. Obama instead chose to force on the American people a law and tax they did not want and could not afford. Worse, that law was an affront to the very principles on which this country was founded.

Much remains to be done. We must never forget that millions of Americans wake up every morning without health care and we must move forward with market-based solutions to lower the cost of health insurance and health care so they can afford both. We must ensure that the government never again loosely interprets the Commerce Clause as an excuse for abusing its power at the expense of the freedom of the American people or that it passes laws that are veiled, massive tax increases on the American people.

We must replace Obamacare with a system that allows portability, allows individuals to purchase health care across state lines, allows individuals to purchase the plan of their choice and includes tort reform. Real health care reform is about bringing down the cost of health care through free-market competition. Real health care reform is about giving families more choices, not less. It is not about empowering big government in which doctors and patients have little to say about the quality of care they receive.

Every American should have the opportunity to provide health care for themselves and their family and the freedom to choose the plan that’s best for them. Health care reform should ensure families and doctors make health care decisions - not Washington bureaucrats and politicians. Millions of Americans are still without access to affordable health care. The Supreme Court’s decision didn’t change that. Americans deserve real market-based reforms, not big government, to increase access to the greatest health care system in the world.

Rep. Michele Bachmann is a Minnesota Republican and former 2012 GOP presidential candidate.

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