The United States Congress has just passed one of the largest and most expensive bills in United States history. The Obamacare bill greatly expands the federal government’s role in health care and will have an unprecedented reach into the personal choices that individual citizens make regarding their health.
I believe we need healthcare reform. Healthcare premiums have skyrocketed in recent years and millions of Americans remain without any coverage. However, this bill was rammed through the Congress by Speaker Nancy Pelosi by any means necessary without one single vote from the minority party – it was anything but bipartisan. In fact, the only thing bipartisan about the bill was the opposition to it. Kudos to the 40 Democrats who broke ranks with Pelosi, under enormous political pressure, and did the right thing.
Fourteen states have already filed lawsuits in federal court against the legislation, arguing that it violates states’ rights. Congress has no power under the Constitution to coerce individuals to buy health insurance or forfeit a penalty. Congress has never forced people to purchase anything from a private company, until now.
Other than the IRS having to hire 14,000 additional agents to enforce Obama’s legislation, this bill does little to stimulate job creation in the private sector.
Most Americans receive their health care through their employers. The best way to provide people with adequate health coverage is to help create good jobs because the uninsured and the underinsured are in many cases the unemployed.
The President and the Congress do not get it. People are suffering – I see it every day in my community. My constituents want and need jobs and this bill will hurt the people it claims to protect. This bill will grow the national debt astronomically at a time when we need to cut taxes and spending to create jobs and improve our economy.
Another concern is the impact that Obamacare is going to have on small businesses. These businesses are already suffering and a government mandate forcing them to buy health insurance may very well cause them to close shop or lay people off. These businesses should be given other incentives to help them provide health coverage for their employees.
Some people are celebrating the fact that we now have “free” health care. It is not free. There is nothing for free in this world and ultimately it will be the taxpayers who will bear the financial burden for this bill. As more people begin to investigate the true cost of this bill, I believe they will join the members of Congress, several states, and the many American companies that agree – we just cannot afford Obamacare.
City Councilmember Eric A. Ulrich represents the 32nd Council District, which includes Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Hamilton Beach, Lindenwood, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, Broad Channel, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, Bell Harbor and Breezy Point.