BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the federal health care overhaul has done nothing to soothe the frustration felt by Idaho's Congressional delegation over the law.
The court on Thursday upheld the individual mandate portion of the new law and other key components.
Still, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson says the fight is far from over. While the seven-term Republican says he accepts the court's decision, he is calling on Congress to repeal the entire law and work on market-driven health care reforms.
U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo says he expects President Obama to move forward with implementing the bill. But Crapo says the problem is the bill is clearly just bad legislation.
“While I accept the Supreme Court’s decision, I am disappointed that the government now has the ability to tax American citizens if they don’t purchase a private product and I remain concerned with the precedent that sets for the future,” said Simpson. “If Americans can be taxed for not purchasing health insurance, the government’s ability to tax, or punish, American citizens as a means of driving their behavior seems unlimited. It is difficult not to see this as an approval of the significant expansion of the power of the federal government into the everyday lives of citizens.”
Despite the Court’s ruling, Simpson is calling on his colleagues in Congress to repeal the entire law and work to enact market-oriented health care reforms that hold the real promise of lowering costs and increasing access.
“While the Supreme Court has ruled that Obamacare is Constitutional, they have not said that it is a good idea or that it will bring down costs,” said Simpson. “Congress should re-double its effort to repeal Obamacare and begin the process of enacting market-based reforms that will truly lower costs and increase access."
“Today’s decision is very disappointing, and it is not the ruling that the American people wanted. Americans overwhelmingly want solutions that deliver what they need—access to high-quality, affordable health care. This law did not fix the rising cost of health care.
During the debate on the Health Care Law, President Obama pledged to the American people that ‘no family making less than $250,000 would see their taxes increase—not their income taxes, payroll taxes, capital gains taxes, not any of their taxes.’ In response, I offered an amendment to strip the bill of any provision that would violate that pledge. Despite receiving bipartisan support, my amendment was voted down, and the Court’s ruling today further confirms that this bill violated the President’s pledge. The Congressional Budget Office has stated that more than 75 percent of the individual mandate—a tax—will be paid by those middle-income families the President pledged to protect from any tax increase.
This law is bad for the American people. It fails on promises to lower health costs and premiums for working families. It fails on promises for American people to keep their health care plan if they liked it, and millions of people have learned they cannot. It increases the burden for small businesses to hire workers. This law threatens our country’s financial strength and the American way of life.
As a member of the Senate Finance Committee and the Gang of 6, I will continue to work to address our nation’s health care problems and to reform our tax code to make it simpler, not more complex and burdensome, for the American people. This ruling has put these issues squarely in front of Congress and the American people. With increased public awareness and clarity, we can improve our health care system and reform our tax code accordingly. Today’s ruling makes it even more important to do so.”
Rep. Raul Labrador's statement:
“The decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that Obamacare is constitutional undermines the concept of limited government embodied by the Tenth Amendment. Our Founding Fathers would be appalled that their vision of a limited government no longer exists.
The court has declared that Congress has the ability to regulate Americans’ behavior by using taxes to force them to act. This should frighten all Americans who believe in freedom and liberty. It is now more clear than ever American people need leaders committed to limited government.
The underlying philosophy of Obamacare was always about more than just health care. The fundamental grievance that I have with this law, and in particular the individual mandate component, is that no government should ever be powerful enough to compel its citizens to purchase a product or a service under penalty of law. What is there now to prevent the federal government, or one of its agencies, from taxing us to compel the purchase of life insurance, a cell phone or any other product Washington deems is necessary for us all?
One of the first votes I cast as your Congressman was to repeal this massive government takeover of our nation’s health care. We were right then in opposing Obamacare and we are still right now.”