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Friday, July 20, 2012

Message from Senator Marco Rubio 20 July 2012

Dear James,
You have previously contacted my office regarding your thoughts on ObamaCare.  I'd like to take this opportunity to inform you of recent developments in regard to the law as a result of the recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States.
As you know, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148), known as ObamaCare, was passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress in March 2010 and was later amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152).  This legislation changes virtually every aspect of health care insurance and delivery in an effort to create a government-run, single-payer health care system.  ObamaCare contains many provisions that are set to take place in the coming years, including individual and employer mandates, the expansion of Medicaid, and the establishment of health insurance exchanges. However, some provisions have already taken effect, including high-risk pools and coverage mandates for insurance companies. 
Following passage of the law, several entities challenged the constitutionality of certain provisions of ObamaCare, mainly the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion.  On June 28, 2012 the Supreme Court issued a decision in one such case, the National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services. 
Four questions were being considered in this case: 1) Is the individual mandate contained in ObamaCare constitutional? 2) If the individual mandate is not constitutional, how does this affect the rest of the law? 3) Is the Medicaid expansion mandated by ObamaCare constitutional? And 4) Can the Supreme Court lawfully rule on ObamaCare at the present time under the consideration of the Anti-Injunction Act?
The Supreme Court ruled that ObamaCare is constitutional because the individual mandate is indeed a tax, and that the federal government cannot withhold Medicaid funding from states if they refuse to adopt the Medicaid expansion provisions contained in ObamaCare.  All other provisions of ObamaCare remained intact as a result of the Supreme Court ruling. 
It is important to recognize that even though the Supreme Court has ruled favorably on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, this does not make it a good policy.  ObamaCare creates $800 million in new taxes, will drive up insurance premiums, and will jeopardize the ability of millions of Americans to keep the insurance coverage of their choice.  Furthermore, individuals not in compliance with the new regulations will be subject to a new tax from the Internal Revenue Service.  ObamaCare remains a job-killing, disastrous economic policy that ultimately hurts all Americans. 
I remain committed to fully repealing ObamaCare.  Americans are in need of health care reform that will promote a vibrant private market where they are free to buy health insurance to fit their individual needs at affordable prices. We must replace ObamaCare with legislation that offers a clear health care alternative to promote competition, combat fraud, utilize new technology, restore control of health policy to the states, and ultimately empower individuals to control their own health care choices.  I will continue to be a proponent of simple and constructive ideas to make health care both more affordable and accessible, and I am confident that with the help of my colleagues in the Senate, we will implement common sense reforms to achieve a solution that will better serve all Americans. 
Again, thank you for previously sharing your thoughts about ObamaCare with me.  I promise to stand up for Floridians and Americans who are suffering as a result of health care costs, and I look forward to hearing any views or input you wish to share in the future.
Marco Rubio

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