Opponents Of ObamaCare React In Augusta – Attention Turns To Outright Repeal
In Augusta, opponents of the Affordable Care Act reacted to Thursday’s Supreme Court decision–upholding most of the healthcare law–vowing to continue their fight to repeal it.Maine was one of the 26 states to challenge the Affordable Care Act, arguing that forcing Americans to have health insurance or face a fine is unconstitutional.Maine Attorney General William Schneider was listed as a plaintiff on the case. “I’m a little bit surprised by the outcome, the means to which the Supreme Court got to it,” Schneider said in his office Thursday.Schneider says while the Supreme Court upheld the mandate, in the end they agreed with his argument that Congress doesn’t have the power to force Americans to buy a product. That violates the Commerce Clause in the constitution. Instead, in their ruling Schneider says the court is forcing Congress to call the mandate what it is, a tax. “They called out Congress,” Schneuder said. “Congress was bending over backward not to assess a tax because that’s politically dangerous for them to do. No matter how much they sad it isn’t a tax, the Supreme Court said it is a tax.”Schneider says by calling it a tax, the Affordable Care Act is now constitutional, but he still considers it bad legislation. One part of the decision Schneider says should not be overlooked by Maine residents is the Medicaid decision that says the federal government does not have the power to force states to expand their Medicaid programs or risk losing the entire program. “So the Supreme Court ruled that it was unduly coercive to force states to accept this big Medicaid expansion with the threat of losing their whole Medicaid programs.” Schneider says all things considered, this isn’t the big win many Democrats are claiming it is. “It’s not the kind of victory that the President has claimed,” he said. “It’s a victory for the people of the State of Maine that we won’t be forced to accept this big Medicaid expansion. I think that’s a big victory. I also think it’s a big victory for our constitution and our system of limited government.”Governor LePage was among those disappointed with the Supreme Court ruling. â€œWashington DC now has the power to dictate how we, as Americans, live our lives,” LePage said in a statement released Thursday. “This is a massive overreach by the federal government, and is infringing upon the individual choices that we, as Americans, have in pursuing our own American Dream.”LePage also echoed the Schneider’s sentiments, that this law is nothing more than another tax. “This decision has verified what President Obama has refused to admit all along, which is to say this law is an enormous tax on the American people. The federal government can force you to do or buy anything, as long as they call it a â€˜tax.â€™ This massive tax hike will only destroy the American economy as it forces us over the financial cliff.” Other opponents we talked to, like Carol Weston of Americans For Prosperity, say the Supreme Court’s ruling is by no means the end of their fight. They say it actually strengthens their resolve to get the Affordable Care Act repealed. “Having it be the law of the land doesn’t change the fact that it’s unaffordable,” Weston said. “It doesn’t change the fact that it’s lots more government spending without true reform and it also doesn’t change the fact that it’s irresponsible.”Weston agrees with Maine’s Attorney General, saying despite the ruling, this is a bad law. “Just because we’ve now learned that it’s constitutional, doesn’t mean it’s best or it’s the right thing. Nancy Pelosi said you have to pass it to read it, well now we’ve read it, and it’s not what we want.” Weston wants it repealed and replaced with legislation that doesn’t make the problem worse. “But not just repealing it. But bringing true reform that is going to benefit everyone.” Governor LePage is also calling for an outright repeal of the massive healthcare overhaul. “This decision erodes the freedoms which made the United States the greatest country on Earth.Â It is a sad day, and it is now up to the American people to demand full repeal of Obamacare. The Washington DC elites cannot and should not run our lives.â€Most people agree, this is a fight that will continue right through November. “I think what this does is it places it firmly in the political arena and it makes it even more important to think about who we elect this November to be or President and our representatives in Congress,” said Schneider.