Over two years ago, I stood on the floor of the Senate and warned the president that he'd regret jamming his massive $2.6 trillion health spending bill through Congress on a party-line vote. He'd regret his signature policy achievement that undermines personal liberty and the constitutional limits on the powers of the federal government.
Over two years later, this law is as unpopular as it was then. A U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the whole law would have been a victory for liberty and for limited government. But this fight is not over. The fact is, this law was terrible before this decision—and it's terrible after this decision.
While the court upheld the main portions of the law, it found that the requirement that every American have insurance is a "tax"—meaning that families earning under $250,000 a year will bear most of the burden of this tax. This represents another broken promise from President Obama, who claimed he wouldn't raise taxes on the middle class.
The court thankfully did validate what I've warned from the very beginning: The massive Medicaid mandates in the law are a "gun to the head" of states. By overturning this mandatory Medicaid expansion, the court dealt a blow to the Obama administration's overreach by upholding America's fundamental system of federalism.
Despite my overall disappointment with this decision, I know that when Mitt Romney becomes president, he'll scrap it in its entirety and move forward with common-sense health reforms the American people deserve.
That stands in sharp contrast with the current occupant of the White House. President Obama took office promising to change the tone in Washington and get America back to work. He's failed on both counts. His ill-advised pursuit of his health care law is the single greatest reason his first term is a failure. He pushed an ideological agenda that had the expansion of government, not the expansion of the economy, as its goal.
In this single-minded pursuit of a larger federal government, he behaved arrogantly—ignoring or attacking the legitimate concerns of those who disagree with him.
The American people responded, rejecting the president's agenda at town hall meetings and polling places.
They made it clear they never wanted a 2,700-page bill drafted in the dark of night that puts Washington between a patient and his or her doctor, takes over one-sixth of our economy, and includes a half-trillion dollars in tax hikes and mountains of red tape.
What they want is a different approach that addresses their number one concern: skyrocketing health care costs that are eating away at every family's pocketbook.
America spends around 18 percent of our economy on health care and the president's health law makes that situation worse, all while placing massive new burdens on our already broken entitlement programs.
A recent Obama administration report found that this law would actually increase health care spending. Never mind the president's promise that ObamaCare would "bend the cost curve" down.
The president's claim that this law is "entitlement reform" is bogus as well. ObamaCare fundamentally weakens Medicare when Medicare is already slated for bankruptcy in just over a decade. In fact, Medicare and Medicaid are the lead drivers of America's close to $16 trillion debt. Instead of reforming them, the president created a brand new unsustainable government program.
Before we can even undertake these much-needed reforms, we have to scrap ObamaCare and start over. Then we can move forward with real, step-by-step reforms to give the American people the health care they deserve from the doctor they want at a price they can afford.
This originally appeared as an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune. -Team Hatch