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By Congressman Robert Hurt
As Americans across the 5th District come together this year to celebrate Independence Day, we are once again reminded of the importance of our founding principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty that our Founders crafted into the beginnings of this great nation.
In signing the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, our Founders charted the course for the greatest country on Earth and paved the way for the freedoms and opportunities we all enjoy today. The common principles that fueled our desire to become an independent nation still ring true over 200 years later, anchored in places like the rolling hills of Albemarle County and the open fields of Southside Virginia.
And over 200 years later, it is still our duty as Members of Congress to uphold those ideals that we all hold dear. On July 4, 1776, history was made with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. On June 28, 2012, a different kind of history was made as the Supreme Court rendered its decision determining the constitutionality of the President’s health care law.
With this monumental decision, the Court ruled that the only way the President’s health care law could be deemed constitutional is if it is considered to be a tax on the American people. As such, the American people learned that not only would the requirement for all Americans to purchase health insurance remain in place, along with the rest of the current job-crushing health care law, but additionally that the very centerpiece of the law is indeed what we all thought it was – and that is a massive tax scheme levied on the backs of the American people.
I greatly respect the duty of the Supreme Court, as well as the individual justices. But I respectfully disagree with the Court’s majority opinion on the grounds that I believe this law is a grave departure from the founding principles that this great nation was established upon. Placing more faith in the government than in the American people, this law is an affront to our democratic values and to the individual liberty we hold dear in America.
The question before the Supreme Court surrounded the constitutionality of the law. Now that we have that answer, the question before the American people is whether or not this law is consistent with our values as a means of reforming our health care system.
The people of Virginia’s 5th District and many across this country have submitted that it is not. And working on their behalf, I look forward to July 11th, when Members of the House will take a recorded vote to answer the calls of the people to repeal this misguided law.
In his majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts articulated that the Court’s duty is not to remove the political consequences from policymakers’ actions. And he is right – only Congress can undo the mess created by the President and the last Congress when they imposed this harmful law on the American people.
Leading the charge of restoring our founding principles and reforming our health care system, the House will continue the fight for the liberties for which so many risked their lives over 200 years ago, as we repeal this law in order to move our country forward with patient-centered reforms that will deliver the highest quality care and repeal this massive tax scheme that threatens the future of this great nation for our children and grandchildren.
If you need any additional information, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.