Sunday, June 28, 2015
Hartzler: Obamacare decision undermines our Constitution
The Supreme Court on Thursday released its opinion on King v. Burwell, a case challenging whether Obamacare allows the IRS to give subsidies to residents of states that declined to establish state-based insurance exchanges.
No ruling could completely undo the harm caused by Obamacare, but this ruling not only protects a bad law, it also undermines the Constitutional basis of our government. The ruling said it was permissible for the IRS to give tax credits to individuals in states without a state-based exchange, even though the law explicitly says, “established by the State.” The Supreme Court has established a dangerous precedent, taking legislative authority away from Congress and allowing the Executive to unilaterally alter laws. If the law needed clarification, Congress alone has the authority to amend it. The IRS shouldn’t be able to give away our hard-earned tax dollars contrary to the law, simply because the President wants it to.
Further, with its ruling the Supreme Court has rubberstamped an unsustainable healthcare system. A Duke University study estimates the implementation costs of Obamacare will be $621 billion more than previously thought– raising health costs by $7,450 per year for a family of four. Missourians may pay up to 34 percent more for their insurance premiums next year, and 13 of our state’s exchange plans have requested double-digit increases. Near-sightedness in the current preservation of Obamacare will lead to devastating and unmanageable financial impacts in the long-term. There is nothing affordable about this law, and if left alone, it will continue to allow health care costs and insurance premiums to skyrocket.
This ruling, which even acknowledges the law was poorly written, does nothing to help the American people get out from underneath the clutch of an onerous federal mandate. Moreover, it bolsters this bad law, making it more difficult for Congress to work towards real, patient-centered reform to our broken health care system.
While I was hopeful for a different ruling, I will continue fighting to protect Missourians from the president’s flawed health care law. Missourians deserve a patient-centered system that lowers costs while increasing choices and access to quality care, not one-size-fits-all, unsustainable Washington mandates.