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Washington can’t ignore will of the people

POSTED: March 31, 2010 4:00 a.m.

Congress’ passage of national health care reform proves that despite speaking loudly, Americans’ voices were not heard in Washington. For the 59 percent of Americans who did not want Washington to pass such reform, we have been abandoned by a government that used to work for us, not against us.

  

Our nation’s leaders continue to run this country based on leadership that ignores the will of the people. After seizing control of the automobile industry,

  

Washington has stolen control of our health care industry with bribery and arm-twisting and soon will be attempting to highjack environmental trade practices. 

  

Americans cannot, and will not, stand for such blatant disregard of their voices. 

  

Our pocketbooks, our families and our future simply cannot afford it any longer. 

  

Despite claims of job creation and building a thriving economy, the only things ObamaCare will accomplish is forcing companies and families to choose the bottom line over people.

  

Companies will be forced to purchase healthcare to avoid unconstitutional fines over paying an employee’s salary. The bill is estimated to cost Georgians $500 million yearly, forcing families to make further cuts to their already tight budgets in order to comply with these additional federal mandates.

  

The bill requires Americans to buy insurance or pay a penalty, forcing some Americans to purchase plans that include coverage they cannot afford, or don’t want or need. 

  

By 2014, any American who doesn’t have insurance will pay a $95 fine or 1 percent of their income, whichever is greater. This penalty increases to $695 for individuals by 2016, or 2.5 percent of their income. 

  

The employer mandate imposes a new tax on business, which will destroy current and new jobs during a time when millions of Americans are already unemployed. Employers who do not offer coverage will face a $2,000 fine per employee — if at least one full-time employee is enrolled in an exchange plan and receives a premium subsidy. Even if an employer offers coverage, they will have to pay up to $3,000 per employee if the coverage is deemed “unaffordable” by the federal government.

  

This bill also extends the government’s reach far beyond its control of you and your health care decisions. You’ll soon see its effects in restaurants and tanning booths:

  

Chain restaurants will be required to display calorie information on their menus in more than 20 locations. Expect to see additional regulations on nutrition information from the Federal Food and Drug Administration.

  

Beginning July 1, a 10 percent excise tax will be levied on tanning services. 

  

You will also be restricted from contributing more than $2,500 to your health care flexible spending account starting in 2013.

  

The Reconciliation Act alone contains enough disastrous provisions to make any Constitutionalist mourn the loss of individual freedom and liberty. It represents a government takeover of the student loan industry, which critics say will result in significant job loss in the private sector by putting the federal government in charge of lending. The new Medicaid funding formula also puts federal taxpayers on the hook for 90 percent of the cost of Medicaid once federal matches are rolled back. 

  

Even the Democratic Party’s own members know that these mandates steamroll individual liberty. When asked by Detroit radio show host Paul Smith why many of these provisions won’t kick in for another three years, Rep. John Dingell, D-Michigan, responded that it will take some time for ObamaCare to “control the people.”

  

The architects of this government takeover claim to have worked with Republicans on health care reform and that they reached across the aisle for bi-partisan support. The only bi-partisan aspects of this bill are the several Democrats who walked across the aisle to stop this legislation. They took a stand for their constituents because they know they were elected to serve the will of the people — not the will of one man with a misguided agenda.

  

There is no doubt that federal mandates will kill America’s entrepreneurial spirit, stifle the economy and slow job growth.

  

The President must stop pushing costly agendas on states that cannot afford it and burdening our children and grandchildren with endless federal spending. 

  

States across the country are coming together and taking drastic steps to adopt legislation that will protect citizens’ rights from the unconstitutional mandates that Washington so willingly forces upon us.

  

In Georgia, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and the Republican Senate Caucus are joining our governor as he moves forward on the lawsuit filed by over a dozen states challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care reform legislation.

  

We are doing everything we can to protect Georgia residents from the $50 billion in tax increases created under this bill.

  

There is also a move under the Gold Dome to provide Georgians with greater choices when it comes to purchasing health insurance coverage by allowing them to purchase insurance across state lines.

  

House Bill 1184 would allow Georgians to buy health plans that have been approved for sale in other states, as long as the insurer is also licensed in Georgia.

   

Sen. Chip Pearson can be reached at (404) 656-9221 or via e-mail at chip.pearson@senate.ga.gov.

 
 

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