Feature:Opinion

The only way to repeal Obamacare

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Tim Phillips
President, Americans for Prosperity
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      Tim Phillips

      Tim Phillips is president of Americans for Prosperity and Americans for Prosperity Foundation. Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has enjoyed rapid growth, going from nine state chapters in January of 2006 to 25 state chapters today, with 980,000 grassroots activists who are fighting for free-market principles at the state, national and local levels. During 2009 AFP held over 300 "hands off my health care" bus rallies and town hall meetings as part of their effort to defeat the health care takeover. AFP's "Cost of hot air" tours have executed 82 events as part of a national effort to defeat cap-and-trade legislation. Tim is a veteran political strategist and one of the nation’s premier grassroots organizers with 24 years of experience, including presidential, gubernatorial and congressional races, as well as state legislative, local and issue-advocacy campaigns. In 1992, Tim managed U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) first congressional campaign and later served as Rep. Goodlatte’s chief of staff on Capitol Hill for four years. In 1997, Tim helped found Century Strategies, one of the nation’s leading public affairs, political consulting and public relations firms. He was named a "Rising Star in Politics" in 1998 by Campaigns and Elections magazine. Tim and his wife, Julia, have been married for 25 years, and are the proud parents of four children.

Last week’s frustrating Supreme Court decision upholding President Obama’s individual mandate at least confirmed what we knew all along — that President Obama’s health care plan is indeed one of the biggest tax increases in modern history. This tax will be paid primarily by middle class Americans who are already struggling to get by in the Obama economy.

While this news is hardly cause for celebration, it serves as a reminder of where true power lies — with the American people. Rather than wishing the Supreme Court had overturned the punitive new Obama Tax, free-market advocates should look to the American people as the only force that can ensure the law will be repealed.

While the Supreme Court decision was a setback, ultimately the American people will be victorious. A recent poll showed 67% of Americans disapproved of the individual mandate when it was being labeled a penalty. Now that the Supreme Court has confirmed it is a tax, we can expect the law’s popularity to fall even further.

Americans for Prosperity went live with a new TV ad less than 24 hours after the SCOTUS ruling, hitting the president for the massive new tax brought on by his health care law. At the same time, AFP began holding grassroots rallies to deliver our message, “Hands off My Health Care.” On the very night of the ruling, over 400 grassroots activists rallied in Waukesha, Wisconsin and hundreds more in places like Omaha, Nebraska and Reno, Nevada.

At an AFP event in Woodbridge, Virginia, a lady came up to me with her two young children and her elderly mother. With passion in her eyes she told me, “Tim, I’ve got three generations of our family here because no issue is bigger and no issue is more personal to us.” She then went on to tell me of her youngest child’s fight with a blood disorder and her mom’s heart issues.

In his response to the court decision, the president telegraphed his understanding of the public’s deep opposition to his new health care bureaucracy when he tried to change the subject by saying it was “time to move on.” With all respect to the president, Americans for Prosperity intends to remind every American of just how disastrous this health care legislation is because we are fully committed to seeing it repealed next year.

As we celebrate the 236th anniversary of our nation’s founding tomorrow, I think our Founders would be proud to see us fighting to repeal this assault on freedom and prosperity. Despite the Supreme Court ruling, this is still a government of the people, by the people and for the people.