Health reform likely headed to high court
After a three-judge federal panel heard arguments by the National Federation of Independent Business and 26 states that President Barack Obama’s health reform law violates the Constitution, one major newspaper columnist wrote he’d almost “bet the house” the lawsuit will wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
We at NFIB are encouraged, too, because our legal team offered a strong challenge to the law, drawing a clear line to the Constitution for small business owners and all Americans who believe in the individual right to choose how they approach buying health insurance or any other major economic decision. Support of this effort has been and will continue to be vital as the wheels of justice move us closer to ending one of the worst laws ever dumped on small business.
The NFIB presented solid evidence that millions of small businesses must not be forced to participate in a government-run scheme that has little possibility of improving the nation’s health care system. Worse, it ignores decades of constant pleas to make health coverage more accessible and affordable for businesses and their employees.
The firm belief that Congress has no right to regulate commerce in this manner is the firm foundation upon which NFIB’s fight stands. As our legal team told the appeals court judges, if Congress is allowed to make people who choose not to buy insurance to do so or pay a fine, there’ll be no limits on government power.
Some who have little understanding of entrepreneurship and free enterprise have scoffed at that argument, saying we must trust the government to use its regulatory power just this once, since health care is something that everyone should have. But once government — whether local, state or federal — inserts itself into any aspect of business, it will look for other ways to expand its power to regulate and tax. Don’t forget this health insurance law also was about to force businesses to spend a lot of time, money and effort to fill out IRS Form 1099s for virtually every expenditure made in excess of $600.
Without the support of NFIB’s efforts to repeal that unprecedented paperwork burden hidden in the president’s law, it would have become yet another nightmare that would have further slowed small business growth and job creation.
And keep in mind there’s still another trap lurking in this law that, unless repealed, will increase the cost of health insurance premiums yet again. This health insurance tax or “HIT” is scheduled to begin in 2014, so we’ve got lots of work and little time to kill it.
As you can see, protecting small business from the unending assaults emerging from President Obama’s health care law is an almost never-ending fight. It’s not going to be easy, but we at NFIB are willing to “bet the house” that you’ll continue your support and encouragement. Now, on to the Supreme Court.
Dan Danner is president of the National Federation of Independent Business. Reach him through the Web site at www.NFIB.com.