Federal health care law is bad medicineMar 24th, 2012 | By Jerrod Shouse | Category: Featured, Top News
This opinion editorial ran in The Oklahoman on Saturday, March 24th. You can find it online at http://newsok.com/article/3660129
by Jerrod Shouse
On Monday, the National Federation of Independent Business and 26 other states will go before the U.S. Supreme Court and argue that the health care bill President Obama signed into law a couple years ago should be struck down.
This is a big deal.
Usually, the court sets aside one hour for oral arguments. It has allotted six hours over three days for “Obamacare.”
I’m the Oklahoma state director of NFIB. Our members want reform that makes health care more accessible and more affordable, but this law is bad medicine.
For starters, we believe the health care law is unconstitutional. We believe the so-called individual mandate, which says citizens have to buy an approved health insurance policy or pay a penalty, oversteps the government’s authority and violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
This isn’t the same as the government saying you have to buy auto insurance in order to drive a car, because you don’t have to drive a car. This is like the government saying everyone has to buy car insurance — even pedestrians, people who ride the bus and people who prefer to bike. With a few exceptions, everyone would have to buy insurance under this law, simply because they’re alive.
Clearly, our health care system is broken. Too many people don’t have basic health insurance — there are 638,500 uninsured in Oklahoma alone — but Obamacare isn’t the cure.
In fact, if this law is allowed to stand, it would make things even worse.
Supporters argue that the health care law would create jobs, but small-business owners tell us it would do the opposite.
It would make it even harder for them to keep the lights on, let alone grow, thanks to job-hindering provisions such as:
An employer mandate that encourages job cuts, not job creation.
New taxes on small-business health insurance plans.
Union and big business carve-outs.
New taxes, fees and mandates specifically targeted at the small-business community.
If new taxes, mandates and government programs remain intact, the law will stifle the ability to hire, grow and invest — key components that are necessary to move America’s economy forward in a robust and meaningful way.
I believe the Supreme Court will agree the health care law is unconstitutional and strike it down. When that happens, I hope Congress does something it didn’t do the first time around — engage with small-business owners and other ordinary people to develop a responsible and responsive health care solution that puts people, not bureaucrats, in control of their health care needs.
Oklahoma’s small-business owners remain focused on finding solutions that strike the necessary balance and give employees and their families access to quality, affordable health care and allow small businesses to remain the job creators that we depend on every day.
Shouse is state director of the National Federation of Independent Business.