Opinion

Health care battle just beginning

On March 21, 2010, Congress passed President Barack Obama’s 2,700 page health care bill (to offer some perspective, that is two and a half times the number of pages in the Bible that sits on my desk).

Just days earlier, then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remarked that Congress “must pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.” Of the contents that were known, much of it was negative. It included provisions that killed jobs, reduced the quality of health care, stripped $500 billion from Medicare, increased 21 taxes, restricted access to doctors and violated the Commerce Clause in the United States Constitution.

Now, according to the Supreme Court, the law will stand because it is a tax increase on American citizens. This directly contradicts the president’s repeated pledge that he would not raise any taxes on middle class families and that this bill did not include a tax.

The House Ways & Means Committee estimates that the total tax increase could exceed $800 billion. According to the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation, 75 percent of this tax increase falls on middle class Americans.

I am disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the health care law. The reality remains that this law is bad policy. This law will increase your taxes, infringe on your doctor-patient relationship and radically alter the way a company or employer conducts business.

Despite the court’s ruling, my personal belief is that it absolutely violates the limits that the Founders placed on the federal government’s power over American citizens. Fortunately, the Founders gave the American people the ultimate decision-making ability in their right to vote.

This week, nine justices voted on this law. In less than five months, Americans will have the opportunity to render their vote. Polls have consistently shown that a majority of Americans are not in favor of the president’s health care law -- and that was before they found out about the tax increase. Make sure your voice is heard in the November elections.

I recognize that Americans are hurting and this ill-advised and destructive experiment is preventing our economy from recovering. One of my first acts as the representative for the 8th District of Georgia was to co-sponsor and vote in favor of HR 2, which fully repealed the president’s health care law. I will continue to work with my colleagues to fully repeal this law and replace it with solutions that will actually put individuals in charge of their health care -- not Washington.

Together, we must move forward and replace the president’s health care law with common sense, market-based solutions that reduce costs, strengthen our economy, improve our health care and protect our individual rights and constitutional freedoms.

Republican Austin Scott represents Georgia’s 8th Congressional District.

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