The recently passed health care takeover threatens to erode our fundamental freedoms and liberties. I reject this Washington power grab and am committed to doing all I can to protect Coloradans, indeed all Americans, from this costly, intrusive, and unconstitutional takeover of one-sixth of our economy. Now is not the time to rest. We all can and must continue our fight for freedom.
I have already co-sponsored legislation to repeal the health care bill. While this is my preferred outcome, it is also the most challenging option. To be successful, it will require as a first step that Republicans gain the majority in both the House and Senate in next November’s elections. While I am optimistic that Republicans will gain some seats, perhaps even a majority, repealing the bill would still face an uphill battle. That’s because President Obama would undoubtedly veto such repeal. It may take several years and a new president in office before we can realistically reverse course on this disastrous bill.
Perhaps our best chance for protecting Americans from this takeover will come at the state level. At least 37 states have legislation and other action pending to reject the health care takeover. I am endorsing a Colorado citizens’ initiative to amend the state constitution to protect Coloradans from being forced to purchase government-mandated health insurance.
The Independence Institute is leading a ballot initiative that would add an amendment to the Colorado Constitution to preserve Coloradans’ health care choice. The proposed amendment would protect individuals from being forced to purchase private or public health insurance. It would also protect individuals from being denied, restricted, or penalized for making or receiving direct payments for lawful health services.
I also support Colorado Attorney General John Suthers’ decision to challenge the health care bill in court. Suthers recently announced he will join attorneys general from 11 other states in challenging the health care legislation in court.
And because this fight is in many ways about states’ rights under the U.S. Constitution, I and nine other members of Congress are forming the 10th Amendment Task Force. The primary focus of the 10th Amendment Task Force is to reform government by distributing power from Washington to states and local governments.
Passage of this freedom-robbing health care legislation is further evidence that we must reinforce our almost forgotten constitutional protections. Our Founding Fathers foresaw this exact type of abuse of power, which is why they included such safeguards as the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
I will also be looking for every opportunity to defund this bill. I have already co-sponsored legislation to prohibit funds from being appropriated or otherwise made available to any federal department or agency to implement or enforce any federal mandate to purchase health insurance. That means no new federal mandate and no new 16,000 IRS agents to enforce the mandate.
Finally, I am very concerned about this law’s impact on our veterans and their families who participate in the TRICARE and other veterans’ health plans. As it currently stands, the law does not protect those individuals from being forced to purchase additional insurance to meet the new government insurance mandates. I have voted in favor of a bill that passed the House of Representatives to partially protect these individuals. However, the Senate must still pass that bill before our veterans are partially protected. At this time, it is unclear when and if that will actually happen.
To be sure, this shameful punishment of our veterans is one of many unacceptable things in this health care overhaul.
Taxpayer funding of abortion is another huge issue, despite the protests of the “pro-life” Democrats who caved in at the last minute. I am certain that we will be uncovering more and more of these problems in the months to come.
I am deeply disappointed that Democrats have thrust upon America an unaffordable and unsustainable massive new entitlement program.
Americans will not stand for this erosion of our freedoms and liberties. I will do and support whatever can be done in Washington to fight against this federal power grab.
When it comes to protecting our freedoms, I have only just begun to fight.
Congressman Doug Lamborn represents Colorado’s Fifth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.