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I almost didn’t get up this morning. I didn’t want to. If you feel like me today, you are physically and emotionally exhausted after a grueling 15 month battle against the Democrats’ hostile takeover of our health care. The tactics they employed to get it done were unlike any I have seen in my 25 years in Washington. Lies, threats, payola, willful ignorance, duplicity, and smears: we saw it all this past week as Nancy Pelosi did whatever it took to pass multi-trillion dollar legislation that will increase the size and reach of government in ways unseen since LBJ.
The taxes will be devastating to economic recovery, hitting capital, small businesses making as little as $200,000, and lower income individuals (with a tax of over $2,000 dollars should you refuse to buy their mandated product) with equal disregard for fairness and economic consequences. The spending in this bill is astronomical, totaling $2.5 trillion in the first 10 years of full implementation. The health insurance industry will become a big, faceless, grossly inefficient government-controlled utility. It, not you, will determine your plan, how much you will pay for it, and the services and treatments that you will receive should you get sick. ObamaCare: harmful tax hikes, massive deficit spending, less health care for those that need it, and no patient choice.
The American people rejected this scheme a long time ago. They rejected it at the August town halls last year, and when they marched – one million strong -- on September 12th. They rejected it again – Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike -- by electing Scott Brown in Massachusetts, denying Harry Reid the key 60th vote he needed to pass ObamaCare on a party line basis. They rejected it again yesterday, with polls showing consistent majorities against it.
For all of these reasons, I almost didn’t get out of bed this morning. I’m tired. But then I started to think about everything that still needs to be done, and my adrenaline surged. As the great moral philosopher Warren Zevon once said: “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” So I got up, had several cups of coffee and wrote down just a few of the things to still be done:
First, we need to keep fighting this legislative battle to the end, and that means fighting Senator Reid’s desire to use “reconciliation,” an expedited budget process requiring only 51 votes, wholly inappropriate for passing a new entitlement program of this magnitude. Senate Democrats refused to meet with the parliamentarian before the House vote this weekend, because Republicans have found problems that make enacting the promised House changes problematic under reconciliation rules.
The American people reject the use of this procedural gimmick for such a massive and unpopular bill. Over 300,000 have already signed our petition site, NoHealthCareReconciliation.com, opposing it. The Republican Study Committee has compiled comments from our petition and published them, demonstrating the superior wisdom of the American people broken out by congressional district, on this matter. Control of the Senate is now in play, and we need to turn the pressure up more on this important vote.
Second, we need to take the battle for health care freedom to the states, where there is a movement catching fire to refuse ObamaCare, state by state. This past week, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Idaho joined a number of other states that reject the unfunded costs, the onerous mandate and the very principle of taking health care choice away from individual patients. This needs to become a 50 state effort, and we will be asking every governor and every state legislator where they stand, and to take a vocal stand against a federal government takeover of health care. This year's tax day protests are a great opportunity to make our voices heard once again, in massive numbers.
Third, we need to take this battle to the Supreme Court and repeal the individual mandate, which is the figurative gun to the head of every American enforcing this government takeover. Most serious legal scholars believe that it is unconstitutional. While the Commerce Clause allows for federal oversight of interstate commerce, the federal government may not mandate that every citizen, because of their mere existence, buy the product of a particular industry. If it could, it is a quick and slippery slope towards mandating other purchases, like a government-defined healthy diet. What’s next, a Jenny Craig mandate and federally-enforced gym memberships? This big, creepy step towards Big Brother violates our Constitution, and we must stop it.
Fourth, we must stop Nancy Pelosi’s arrogant abuse of federal power by Taking America Back. It is now clear that Democrat control of both the legislative and executive branches is the problem. They will not bend to the will of the American people, they will not reach across the aisle, and they have neutered every “Blue Dog” Democrat that once claimed to know better. The fiscally conservative activists that have worked so hard to stop ObamaCare represent a genuine “50 state strategy” for freedom, fiscal responsibility, and now, political accountability. We are already organized in all of the battleground House districts and all of the Senate battleground states. We must make November 2nd, 2010 a grassroots referendum on ObamaCare and all that it represents.
Fifth, when we take back Congress, we must use the momentum to repeal ObamaCare wholesale, or piece by piece. Remember how the legislation is structured: the taxes kick in quickly, but the benefits don’t start for four years. That gives us two congressional cycles and a presidential election to get health care right. By “repeal,” I mean offering a real health care reform plan that puts patients in charge, allows market competition to work, and breaks up the new government health care oligarchy.
Finally, and most important, we must all ensure that the millions of freedom-loving activists who arose from their homes these past 15 long months out of their concerns for the fiscal future of America become a sustained community. This grassroots community, bound by shared principles and connected through relationships and electronic networks, is our only hope to change the arrogant culture in Washington this year, next Congress, and after. As Thomas Jefferson wrote to James Madison: “The People…are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”
So wake up! We have work to do.