Editor's note: The following is reprinted, with permission, from Rep. Joyce Peppin's weekly email newsletter dated July 2, 2012. Peppin (32A) represents several communities, including Maple Grove.
The Fourth of July is fast approaching, and I wish everyone a safe and fun-filled holiday. I encourage you to attend an Independence Day celebration around the area and join me in celebrating our freedom in this great country.
The United States Supreme Court Thursday upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—more commonly known as Obamacare—on the grounds that it is a federal tax on the American people, in spite of the fact that the President and Congress declared three years ago that it was not a tax increase.
What does this mean for Minnesota? We, like other states, must now implement certain provisions under Obamacare that are superfluous, redundant, and extremely expensive.
Minnesota is currently a leader in health care. Around 91 percent of Minnesotans are covered by health insurance, and about half of those 9 percent without coverage are eligible for a public program, but for some reason or another, choose not to pursue enrollment.
In addition, we already have the tools in place to provide lower cost, higher quality health care. Simply put: We don’t need this federal mandate. We can meet Minnesotans’ health care needs without the added burden imposed by Obamacare.
What’s disheartening is that Governor Dayton has embraced the federal takeover of health care despite Minnesota being a national leader in covering the uninsured.
I think we all know the promise of federal government subsidies is a hollow promise. Not only that, but federal monies supporting Obamacare will increasingly decline in coming years, which leaves a huge burden on us that we cannot afford.
Ultimately, Obamacare will drive up health insurance costs with new coverage mandates while simultaneously trying to hold down premiums with politicized rate regulation. Instead of bending the cost curve, Obamacare will result in a substantial increase in the average insurance premium because the law requires people to purchase a much richer and, thereby, more expensive benefits set.
Opposition to Obamacare isn’t an issue of conservatives “not caring” about our country’s and state’s most vulnerable. It’s simply an acknowledgement that this isn’t the way to go about delivering lower cost, quality health care – especially when our state already does so in nation-leading way.
In the end, I support the ultimate repeal and replacement of Obamacare so that Minnesota can maintain control of its health care destiny. I believe it is an issue of local control: maintaining maximum flexibility in the state, protecting our small and medium-sized business owners (who will pay the price), and maintaining fiscal responsibility that doesn’t bankrupt government, from the federal to the state level.
As always, it is a pleasure and a privilege to serve as your state representative. Please let me know if I can ever be of assistance to you. I look forward to hearing from you!
Have a great Fourth of July!