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Abbott: ObamaCare ruling threatens nation’s prosperity Print E-mail
by Will Lutz    Mon, Jul 2, 2012, 05:19 PM
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott warned that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the federal Affordable Care Act – commonly known as ObamaCare – “threatens prosperity” as much as just about any decision the Supreme Court has ever made.

Abbott spoke in a July 2 conference call organized by the fiscal conservative organization Americans for Prosperity. Abbott -- along with attorneys general from a majority of states -- had sued, challenging the law's constitutionality.

“It is now a decision for the American people,” said Abbott, noting that much of ObamaCare does not take effect until 2014, and the law can be stopped either by Congress or by a president that does not support it. “Everyone has the power do something about this at the ballot box.”

Abbott noted that the Supreme Court did make some significant findings on both the commerce clause and Medicaid – a state-federal program that provides health care subsidies to the poor. The court held that ObamaCare could not be justified under the commerce clause of the US Constitution. Abbott said this was the first time since the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt that the U.S. Supreme Court put guidelines on Congress’s powers under the commerce clause.

Abbott also noted that the court prohibited the administration from forcing states to fund its expansion of Medicaid – under the threat of losing all Medicaid dollars. State budgets are under increasing pressure, and Medicaid has become a major budget driver – especially in border states such as Texas, Arizona, and California.

Congress currently requires all hospitals receiving federal funds to accept all emergency patients, even if they can’t pay – a law known as EMTALA. As a result, Medicaid is often used to pay for the care of some of these patients. Pulling out of Medicaid entirely would put a tremendous financial strain on hospitals. But the Supreme Court’s ruling allows states like Texas to say no to Medicaid expansion – which contains unfunded mandates in future years – while still remaining in the basic Medicaid program.

Abbott noted this is the first time the court has reined congress in over Medicaid. In past rulings, the court gave Congress wide latitude to set conditions on federal funding.

Still, Abbott warned that the court’s upholding of ObamaCare as a tax is “a threat to all of us.” He noted that neither President Barack Obama himself nor any court had held that the Affordable Care Act is a tax.

The court’s ruling is “a tax on liberty itself,” Abbott warned, noting that – for the first time --  Congress may tax inactivity rather than activity. In response to a question, Abbott noted that the ruling could open the door for Congress to levy a tax penalty on everyone who buys a traditional car, instead of a hybrid, for example.

Abbott predicted that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling would lower the quality of health care in the United States. The bill provides a financial incentive for businesses to pay a penalty instead of providing coverage, he warned. As more Americans migrate to a government-sponsored product, doctors would pull out of the profession, constricting supply of health care and leading to rationing.

“How many Americans are you aware of who go to countries with socialized medicine for better health care,” Abbott asked.

“The people of America lost,” Abbott said of the ruling but noted that Americans can stop ObamaCare by electing a Congress or a president who opposes it in just a few months.

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Comments (3)add comment
written by Brandt Hardin , July 03, 2012

Republicans would have us believe Obamacare is bad for America. Is there any doubt that a Romney administration would favor the rich and increase the income gap in our country while leaving millions of our citizens uninsured and unprotected? Mitt is a pariah in Mormon Clothing and will stop at nothing to expand an empire of greed for the rich in this country. Can his sacred Mormon underwear gain him enough donations to buy this election? See for yourself as Mitt dons his tighty-whities sent from the Good Lord Himself at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...rwear.html

written by Laura McGinnis , July 03, 2012

Did AG Abbott say if Texas would comply with Obamacare? Other states have said they will not.

written by Peggy Venable , July 03, 2012

Great job recapping last night's call. Obpver 22,000 citizens were on the call and General Abbott was generous with his time in answering a number of questions. He has been a champion of freedom and liberty.

We at AFP realize It is time for citizens to act and we will be leading the charge, encouraging people to go to the website HANDS OFF MY HEALTHCARE or to

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