GUEST COMMENTARY: Time for Congress to repeal Obamacare

Thursday, June 28, 2012 | 6:10 p.m. CDT

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold Obamacare reflects a tragic misreading of the law, one which could cost us not just economically but also in terms of liberty. On the bright side, the court recognized that there are limits to what Congress may do under the Commerce Clause. But this was the silver lining of a dark cloud. The court then fundamentally misread Obamacare, contorting to find another authority — the power to tax — for Congress to enact the law.

The effects of the decision will be felt far beyond Obamacare. By allowing the government to require Americans to buy a product or service at the federal government's direction, the court has seriously damaged the principle of limited government. The decision announced Thursday could open the door to even more dictates from Washington for generations to come. Indeed, anyone who has any doubts about this need only read the court's suggestion that Congress could force Americans to buy energy efficient windows or pay a tax.

Fortunately, Americans have always fought for freedom, and won't give up now. We must turn to the task at hand and work for full repeal of this law. The Supreme Court has in essence given this decision back to Congress and the people, where political power resides.

The American people have spoken — they don't support Obamacare and fear its consequences more every day. Just this month a new poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News showed that more than two-thirds of Americans want to see the Supreme Court strike down Obamacare in whole or in part, and only 24 percent would keep the law in place.

Thankfully, the duty to defend the Constitution is not given solely to the Supreme Court — it is one shared by Congress and the President. It is now Congress' turn to do what's right both for the Constitution and policy reasons: Repeal Obamacare.

The American people know this year will be a turning point in American history. We have a big decision between constitutional, limited government on the one hand and Leviathan on the other.

This law fails American families — it raises premiums and taxes, drives up spending and debt, undermines the doctor-patient relationship, tramples on religious liberty and expands the role of government in our daily lives.

The Heritage Foundation is a conservative public policy research institution whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.

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