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The Health Care Repeal Chorus Grows Louder

The Health Care Repeal Chorus Grows Louder

By Sen. John Thune - February 4, 2011

There is a loud, and growing, chorus calling for Congress to finally act to repeal the awful health care law Democrats jammed through last spring against widespread opposition. The Democrat leadership of the Senate, with their fingers firmly planted in their ears, seems intent upon ignoring any indication that they have made a grave mistake.

Leading that chorus, as with all great movements in our country, is the American public. They demonstrated their strong feelings on the matter in the November elections, when Democrats who voted in favor of the law were turned out of office in large numbers. This was a continuation of last February's special election in Massachusetts that sent a Republican, Scott Brown, to Washington specifically on the promise that he would oppose Obamacare.

Anticipating his shellacking at the polls, President Obama tried to spin the resistance by arguing that he and his team had done a poor job of selling the plan to the public. In his mind, apparently, there was nothing wrong with the law's multi-trillion dollar price tag, its thousands of unread pages, or its unconstitutional mandate that all Americans buy health insurance. Once they start to learn, the argument went, the law will become more popular.

But the people are not stupid. They know a bad idea when they see one, and to them this law was simply a bad idea. That is why public opinion has not shifted the Administration's way. One recent Rasmussen poll, for instance, found that 58 percent of registered voters favor repealing the law, the exact same percentage as last April.
People understand that the health care law destroys jobs, imposing more than a half trillion dollars in taxes and thousands of pages of new regulations, on virtually every sector of the American economy. They understand that it is raising their insurance premiums, not lowering them as promised. And they understand that Democrat claims the law would reduce the deficit were based on budget gimmicks and false promises.

Picking up on the public outcry, the House of Representatives acted swiftly to repeal the law. Within two weeks of taking their oath to uphold the Constitution, the new Republican majority led a bipartisan effort to strike down the law. And they began the process to replace it with a more responsible, and effective, solution.

Then, earlier this week, a federal judge ruled unconstitutional the linchpin of the law -- the mandate that people buy health insurance or pay a penalty. It was the second ruling in about six weeks to go against the White House on this point. This time around the judge struck down not just that one provision, but the entire law. It was a stunning repudiation of President Obama's overreach and a stirring victory for individual liberty.

But still, despite the mounting evidence that their health care law was both wide of the mark and broadly disliked, Democrats refuse to adjust course. The White House has said that it is "not in favor of re-fighting this fight."

Perhaps not, but with solid majorities of the American people strongly disapproving of the health care spending law, the fight will continue anyway. As part of that fight, my Republican colleagues and I introduced language that would repeal the law. Democrats in the Senate blocked that effort on a party-line vote, but we will continue to press them.

The American people have said they want the law repealed, and so has the House of Representatives. The courts have said the law is unconstitutional. All that remains to be seen is whether Democrats at some point will join us in repealing this bad law and replacing it with a better alternative.

So far the Administration and their allies in the Senate have been trying to ignore the rising chorus of dissent. They can't get away with that much longer.

Thune is a Republican Senator from South Dakota.

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Sen. John Thune

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