This week, President Barack Obama signed into law his health care reform bill, which is the largest, most expensive, and most divisive entitlement program produced in our nation in decades. Close to a thousand pages of this legislation are filled with rules, regulations and requirements that give government authority to put many of the freedoms we all enjoy in a stranglehold.
Until now, there have been very few times in the history of our nation that a single vote in Congress has fundamentally altered the way that Americans will live their lives, and changed the course of history for generations to come. And up until now, there have been even fewer instances of a single vote that have caused such anger, fear and debate over the meaning and intent of our Constitution.
This bill forces Americans to purchase health insurance against their will. It ignores decades of legal precedent and provides public funding for abortions. It initiates the first steps to a government takeover of our health care system. Finally, it imposes financial burdens so heavy and large that it is difficult to even imagine.
Many of us are asking: Where is this great country heading? What happened to our Constitution?
There is no doubt that our health care system is broken and that addressing its failings in a manner that is constitutional, fair to all Americans, bipartisan, and respectful of right to life should be a priority. However, the legal question being asked among scholars across the country today is whether the Constitution’s Commerce Clause grants Congress broad enough powers to order Americans to comply with the health insurance mandate, or pay a penalty. I don’t believe that it does.
As we enter this area of constitutional uncertainty, over three quarters of the individual states in our nation have proposed or passed 10th Amendment resolutions. In these resolutions the states declare themselves and their interests separate than that of our leaders in Washington. Florida’s own Attorney General Bill McCollum has joined Attorneys General across the state to file a lawsuit, challenging the constitutionality of this bill, and I unequivocally support these efforts on behalf of Florida’s citizens.
As an 18-year veteran prosecutor in Florida and a candidate for Attorney General of Florida, I am gravely concerned that this health reform bill infringes on the rights of our state’s sovereignty, as guaranteed by the 10th Amendment of our Constitution, and I will do everything in my power to protect those rights.
The people of our great nation will not stand idly by and allow government to strip us of the innovation, choice and free markets that make us the great nation we are today.
I predict that although President Obama has signed his name to the bottom of this bill, the ink of our history has not yet dried. The people of this great nation will not stand idle while any political party ignores their will, and I am confident that in November, they will make their voices heard.