Time to end the health care mandate

Gary Howard Contributor
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Following nearly a year of fiery public rhetoric and questionable political backroom arm-twisting, Congress finally cast an historic vote to enact a sweeping health care reform bill into law.

A law that is blatantly unconstitutional and contrary to the ideas of liberty.

Nowhere does the Constitution authorize the federal government to dictate a national health care policy or force Americans to purchase a particular good or service.

America was founded on the premise that the individual knows how to take care of himself and his family in a manner better than any government not only is, but ever will be, capable of planning for him.

The drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution rejected the very same principles that today’s leaders are now embracing as “change” and “progress.”

Allowing elected officials to dictate to us “for our own good” isn’t a new idea. You can find its devastating results strewn all over history, particularly the history of the 20th century.

But despite the manifest failures of statism, the notion that citizens have a responsibility over their own lives—that they have the liberty to decide how they will conduct and protect those lives—continues to slip slowly away.

No good doctor would treat a junkie’s withdrawal by not only supplying him with, but then forcing him to use, the same drug that caused his addiction. Yet, throwing more government regulation on top of existing rules is regularly considered good politics and “revolutionary.”

Making choices about medical care is an intensely private matter and part of exercising personal liberty. Government interference in healthcare has already caused costs to skyrocket and infringed on people’s choices. But rather than get out of the way, Washington is entrenching itself and its corporatist cronies even more deeply.

The legislation that passed Congress is a corporate giveaway to the insurance industry, rewarding them with millions of new customers who, by congressional decree, face federal penalties if they do not buy their product.

As Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney reported in March:

“Given this Big Pharma clout, it’s unsurprising that the bill Obama’s whipping for — Senate bill — has nearly everything the drug companies wanted: prohibiting reimportation of drugs, preserving Medicare’s overpayment for drugs, lengthy exclusivity for biotech drugs, a mandate that states subsidize drugs under Medicaid, hundreds of billions in subsidies for drugs, and more.

PhRMA chief Billy Tauzin, who was vilified by Obama on the campaign trail, worked out much of this sweetheart deal in a West Wing meeting with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Tauzin visited the White House at least 11 times. He left his imprint so deeply on the current bill that it should probably be called BillyCare rather than ObamaCare.”

The most unscrupulous businessman could not have created a law so insidious.

In response to the legislation, a number of states have already filed legal challenges, asserting their rights under the Tenth Amendment and ready to take their cases to the Supreme Court. Some, such as Virginia, have gone a step further by actively “nullifying” the federal insurance mandate within their borders.

Recently, Rep. Ron Paul introduced a very important piece of legislation that will hopefully gain as much or more support as his bill to audit the Federal Reserve. H.R. 4995, the End the Mandate Act, will repeal the health insurance reform bill’s individual and employer mandate.

In less than a month since its introduction, H.R. 4995 already has 15 cosponsors, and Campaign for Liberty is working to alert millions of Americans to this crucial legislation.

While countries around the world struggle with the debt brought on by their ever-increasing welfare states, our nation has the opportunity to lead by example and show that the solutions lie in freedom, not force.

It is time for us to fight back for individual liberty and personal responsibility. It is time to End the Mandate.

Gary Howard Jr. is Director of Communications for Campaign for Liberty. For more information, go to www.CampaignForLiberty.com.