Certainly, the bill should be repealed on its policies alone. After all, it takes healthcare decisions out of the hands of the American people and puts them into those of unelected bureaucrats; cuts $500 billion from Medicare; cuts $11 billion from New York’s hospitals; and contrary to President Obama’s promise that “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it,” 20 million Americans will no longer be able to keep their current plans.
When the Supreme Court announced its ruling to uphold the individual mandate requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance, I was certainly disappointed, but what disturbed me more was the reason why.
Republicans have argued from day one that Obamacare is unconstitutional under the Commerce clause, and in this case the highest court in the land agreed. What they did find, however, in a 5-4 decision, is that the individual mandate in Obamacare is in fact constitutional within Congress’ power to impose taxes. In essence, the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate in Obamacare because it is a tax.
This is a rather curious ruling, since throughout the healthcare debate, President Obama promised that the middle class would not see their taxes increased by “a single dime.” Time and time again, he sought to assure the American people that this mandate is “absolutely not a tax increase,” yet this is the very argument the president’s team used to uphold the law.
President Obama has misled the nation. He has pulled the wool over the eyes of the American people and broke a fundamental promise by imposing on us one of the largest middle class tax increases in the history of the country.
In light of this decision, I am more resolute than ever in my commitment to repeal fully this tax on our nation’s hard-working families and the small businesses that we need to grow and create jobs.
The last thing our fragile economy needs is another devastating tax in the form of an unsustainable healthcare reform law which has already increased premiums, limited access, and reduced the quality of care for patients.
Unlike this president, I remain committed to demonstrating honest leadership in reforming our nation’s healthcare system. This time, it must be done the correct way, by taking a patient-based, step-by-step approach to lower costs, expand access and preserve the highest quality of care possible.
The people of New York cannot afford to have this economy-crushing healthcare tax imposed on them, and I will do all I can to continue the fight to overturn it.
Congressman Michael Grimm represents portions of Brooklyn and Staten Island.