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WOODALL: The people will have final word on healthcare

I have great respect for the institution of the U.S. Supreme Court, though I absolutely reject the notion that President Obama's health care law is constitutional simply because Congress has the power to tax the American people. As important as all of the legalese in the Court's opinion, however, is a constant refrain of common sense among the Chief Justice's words: elections have consequences.

Chief Justice John Roberts lays this out clearly in the Court's opinion. He writes: "It is not our (the Court's) job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices." And he's right.

It's not the Court's job to protect us from our own bad decisions. It's our job to protect ourselves. We must be informed voters and support those candidates with whom we agree. As Americans, we do not want an activist judiciary that substitutes its will for the will of people. The Supreme Court this week rejected a degree of judicial activism, saying in effect: "You voted for it, America; live with it."

In 2010, the American people answered the call to protect themselves from federal government coercion, and they sent nearly 100 new members to the U.S. House of Representatives with a specific mandate to control the size and scope of the federal government so that individual Americans could once again enjoy the freedom and liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. Since I took office in January 2011, I have worked hard to make that mandate a reality. Unfortunately, with respect to the nationalizing of health care decisions, the die was cast in 2008, and despite dozens of successful votes that I have cast in the House over the past 18 months that have repealed the president's health care bill in whole or in part, those bills have been ignored by the Senate and White House.

To be clear, I know that our health care system is in trouble in America. Costs are rising too fast and access is too limited, but a one-size-fits-all solution from Washington has made the problems worse. Costs are rising even faster now, and millions of Americans face losing their health insurance when the President's bill is fully enacted. We must get businesses and governments out of health care decisions, and we must return these decisions to families and doctors. If there are aspects of the President's health care bill that you like or that you think will help America, know this: there isn't one line of the President's reforms that Georgia couldn't adopt and implement on its own. That is the point: we don't need Washington to know best; we have the power right here in Georgia.

The Court didn't uphold the president's health care bill because it is good policy; it upheld the bill because it decided that Congress's power to tax is so big and broad that it can be stretched to include the president's health care mandate. In the Court's opinion, Chief Justice Roberts writes, "Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation's elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them."

In 1773, 342 chests of tea belonging to the British East India Company were tossed into the Boston Harbor. This protest over unreasonable taxation and the abuse of absolute power by Parliament over the colonies sparked the American Revolution. Our Founding Fathers knew firsthand how the power to tax could so easily be misused to exploit citizens and destroy liberty. It saddens me today to know that while 239 years have passed since that fateful night in Boston, the American people will once again have to fight this time from the ballot box for our right of freedom.

But that is a battle that I'm ready to stand with you and fight; and together, we will repeal this law and restore the liberty that so many brave Americans have pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to defend.

Rob Woodall is a U.S. Representative from Lawrenceville.

Comments

Jeffincher 1 year, 9 months ago

There is a sacred trust that we grant our elected Representatives When that trust is broken we are duty bound to replace them through the elective process and by so doing we protect the Republic and our Constitution. The enjoyment of Liberty requires vigilance and participation by the voters. The way this legislation was passed and pressed upon us should harden our will to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but this will not be easy and unless we make a stand the tyranny of the Federal Government through its ability to tax us, the citizens, will bring an end to our Republic. This ruling reinforces the power of the vote in a democratic Republic. The question we must ask ourselves is: “Are we, the citizens, willing to participate in governing and exercise our voting right?”

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NewsReader 1 year, 9 months ago

Woodall is right. My question is "Do the people have the wherewithal to vote for what is in the best interest of the country, or are they so caught up in their own short-sighted self-serving agendas that they could care less how their vote impacts anyone but them?" From the outcome of the last Presidential elections, I seriously doubt it. Elections do have consequences and we are living them right now.

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BillEvelyn 1 year, 9 months ago

Rob Woodall could not be more wrong in his assessment if he actually tried to be wrong. Rob agrees with Chief Justice John Roberts statement; "It is not our (the Court's) job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices." Rob wrote; "And he's right." Well no he's not right.

Robert's just managed to legislate from the bench. All Robert's is supposed to do is determine what is constitutional and vote accordingly to protect the people from an out of control Congress.

It is not a tax, it is a fine a penalty. There is no requirement for your to purchase Obamacare, but it you don't you will be fined.

Rob Woodall is one of the Big Spending Republicans in Congress. Last week alone he voted YES for H.R. 5972, the FY 2013 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill. According to the Appropriations Committee report, excluding the estimated offsetting receipts, the THUD bill would increase spending by $1.44 billion compared to last year. Only when including estimated offsetting receipts, which are mostly payments made by borrowers to the Federal Housing Administration, is the bill a net reduction in the cost of THUD this year compared to last year. CBO estimates that these offsetting receipts will increase from $5.8 billion to $11.2 billion, due to lower anticipated defaults on loans. The following spending increases in the THUD bill for items conservatives have traditionally opposed are of note:

Ø Amtrak: $1.8 billion—which is $384 million (27%) above last year.

Ø Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (the DC metro): $150 million—the same as last year and $15 million (11%) more than the President’s request.

Ø Essential Air Service: $214 million, including fee collections—the same as President’s request, and $21 million (or 11%) above last year.

Ø Tenant-Based Rental Assistance: $19.1 billion—which is $60 million more than the President’s request and $219.9 million more than last year.

Ø Community Development Block Grant: $3.34 billion—which is $396 million (13.5%) more than both last year and the President’s request.

Ø Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation: $225.3 million—which is $10 million more than last year and $12.3 million more than the request.

Rob Woodall since being elected to the House has participated in the largest growth of government in history. $1.9 trillion over the past two years. Rob is a Republican hack.

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Jeffincher 1 year, 9 months ago

Roberts is right. It is the people's job in a Constitutional Republic is to protect themselves from their elected officials. The 16th amendment is the flash point and the ever growing Federal Government fashioned under the commerce clause is the source of our current problem. My opinion is that Chief Justice Roberts ruled properly given the current constitutional landscape. As much I wanted the court to strike down ACA, to have done so would have damaged the court and diminished the constitutional principle of separation of powers.

I believe your comments concerning Rob are out of frustration and not thought out. Rob is 1/435 of the Congressional body. I understand your expectations, I share them. I would like Rob to lead. He is gifted and very well placed for a freshman on Rules and Budget. I have no doubt that the 7th will return him to Congress, but the 7th needs him to be bold and independent from the Speaker. This has been the source of my frustration.

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BillEvelyn 1 year, 9 months ago

Rob can't be bold and independent. He is a product of government. They guy has absolutely no accomplishments outside of government. He is one of the agents in the Matrix that enforces the code.

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dgh33 1 year, 9 months ago

Everybody has an opinion on last week's Supreme Court decision, but I was particularly disappointed by the editorial that appeared from my Congressman, Rob Woodall. His main take-away from the ruling was that elections have consequences, and he states that "It's not the Court's job to protect us from our own bad decisions."

But, Congressman, it is the Court's job to protect us from unconstitutional legislation.

The problem is that the Affordable Care Act was not passed as a tax. The administration still refuses to admit that it is a tax. Yet the Congressman (and the Chief Justice) decided to let that little fact slide.

Rather than quote the opinion written with the help of Ginsberg, Sotomayor and Kagan as Congressman Woodall has done, I believe that it is vital to heed the warnings in the dissent from Scalia, Thomas, and Alito:

“To say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute, but to rewrite it. Judicial tax-writing is particularly troubling... the Constitution requires tax increases to originate in the House of Representatives. That is to say, they must originate in the legislative body most accountable to the people, where legislators must weigh the need for the tax against the terrible price they might pay at their next election, which is never more than two years off.”

The conservative justices go on to say that “The values that should have determined our course today are caution, minimalism, and the understanding that the Federal Government is one of limited powers. But the Court’s ruling undermines those values at every turn.”

Congressman Woodall states that he was sent to Washington "... with a specific mandate to control the size and scope of the federal government so that individual Americans could once again enjoy the freedom and liberty guaranteed by the Constitution." But since the Republicans gained control of the House in the 2010 election the total debt has increased by $1.8 trillion and the federal government has grown almost exponentially. And I see no signs of it slowing.

Congress is quickly becoming obsolete, and unless we elect Representatives who will move immediately to actively defend the powers given to them by the Constitution (and loudly challenge the claims made by the other branches) our country is in grave peril. The conservative justices, at least, understand this, and gave us the following warning:

"The fragmentation of power produced by the structure of our Government is central to liberty, and when we destroy it, we place liberty at peril. Today’s decision should have vindicated, should have taught, this truth; instead, our judgment today has disregarded it.”

David Hancock Candidate, US House of Representatives Georgia 7th District www.hancock2012.com>

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