GOP’s new health care slogan is “repeal and replace”
save California from financial ruin, 12 Republican Representatives in California are asking Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and State Attorney General Jerry Brown to join other states with lawsuits based on Constitutional merits.
Several states attorneys’ general filed lawsuits challenging the federal governments ability to mandate health care insurance and force states to pick up the tab.
Congressional members in California are concerned the new law will add too many financial burdens to the state in a time of deep recession. Lawmakers also contend the federal government will short-change individual states and it would only be a matter of time before state governments would have to enact steep tax increases to pay for the millions of new health care participants.
Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli, who has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Richmond, Virginia, said Congress lacks authority under its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce and force citizens to buy health insurance. He contends that the bill also conflicts with a state law that says Virginians cannot be required to buy insurance.
In addition to the pending lawsuits, bills and resolutions have been introduced in 36 state legislatures seeking to limit various aspects of the health care reform plan through laws or state constitutional amendments, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“When the Democratic majority in Congress passed their health care bill, they ignored the simple fact that forcing every American to buy health insurance, even if they don’t want to do so, might very well undermine the constitutional rights of Americans,” Congressman Hunter said.
“Of course, we can’t predict the outcome of challenges on this basis, but there is a very good chance the mandate, as well as the legislation itself, is determined unconstitutional. Congress has never before mandated that individuals buy a specific product, so anyone who suggests that the legislation is standing on solid precedent is wrong. But regardless, the federal government has always left these types of decisions to states,” he explained.
According to a new Rasmussen Reports poll, 55 percent of the voters want the Republicans to repeal the health care bill, while 42 percent say leave it alone. These numbers combined with the lackluster Presidential approval rating in the mid-40s prompted the Commander in Chief to hit the road and campaign in favor of the new health care legislation.
Companies like John Deere and Caterpillar (where Obama made a pitch to employees that health care will help their business) have predicted their health care costs will increase by as much as $100 million under the Democrats new health care bonanza, this will force large manufacturing companies to shed jobs – not add to the payroll. These companies insist the new plan bends the costs of health care up, not down as hoped.
The California Representatives wrote a joint letter to impress upon the Governor and Attorney General that President Obama’s new health care bill could be an “unconstitutional overreach of authority that severely undermines the individual liberty of every American.”
“We need health care reform, but not at the expense of the Constitution. The president must remember that the Constitution comes before politics, and all we are asking is for California to address this in the courts,” said Congressman Bilbray (R-CA).
The federal government will now require all individuals to purchase health insurance or face substantial financial penalties; something many proponents argue is within the purview of the commerce clause.
However, “contrary to this interpretation, we believe such a mandate and coinciding penalties for non-compliance are unconstitutional on the basis that even the broadest interpretation of the commerce clause would not confer on Congress the authority to force individual citizens to purchase health insurance,” the letter reads.
The California delegation points to Virginia and Idaho that has enacted state laws to protect their constituents from any federal mandate and as more details are uncovered by lawmakers other states are weighing their options when considering similar lawsuits.
“We hope you will offer your support for this effort and provide the necessary leadership to help bring a measure forward,” the Congressmen said.
The health care beef with most Americans lies in the constitutionality of the federal government forcing citizens to purchase a service. The Congressmen and the Supreme Court have acknowledged limits when it comes to interstate activities.
However there are also several financial issues to consider when the Health and Human Services Department begins the arduous task of implementing the massive health care program.
Californians’ can expect to pay $2-3 billion annually for the various health care related expenditures as well as growing the state Medicaid program. Currently, California is operating with a $20 billion budget deficit and this new entitlement program is sure to create a wider budget gap.
In an effort to gain support, the President has embarked on his “sell the health care package to the American people” tour and he has taken jabs at the Republican Party along the way by mocking the Armageddon that would happen if health care became law.
“So after I signed the bill I looked around to see if there were any asteroids falling or cracks opening around the earth,” Obama said. “Turns out it was a nice day. Birds were chirping. Folks were strolling down the Mall. People still had their doctors.”
Most question why the President has to go on the road to sell a bill if it is so popular with Americans? “He has to sell legislation because it is so unpopular.”
The California Congressmen that signed the letter to Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown were; Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Ed Royce (R-CA), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Tom Campbell (R-CA), Mary Bono-Mack (R-CA), Wally Herger (R-CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).