AFP-Montana held a great rally on Main Street, Bozeman that drew over 100 activists protesting the new health care law. The rally was held on the second day of the US Supreme Court’s oral hearings on the constitutionality of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which we know as ObamaCare.As AFP-Montana’s Grassroots Coordinator I was honored to organize the event, located at the site of many previous Tea Party rallies.
During my speech, I said:“Simply put, we oppose this new health care law because it is unconstitutional, unaffordable and impractical. The individual mandate requiring citizens to purchase health insurance is a gross unconstitutional over-extension of Congress’ authority to ‘regulate commerce.’ If the federal government can dictate that we buy health insurance, they can dictate us buying Chevy Volts because they’ll eliminate exhaust emissions or force our kids to eat broccoli at school because it’s good for them.”
The health care law is unaffordable. Already estimates for the implementation of the new law have doubled to at least $1.3 trillion and we’ve just begun implementation. The new law is also very impractical. The 15-person politically appointed Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) would determine reimbursement rates to doctors and when lowered, critics contend would cause a reduction in the quality of care and the type of care provided. It may even force doctors out of their practice altogether because they will tire from government meddling in medicine.
I also warned that the development of a Montana Health Care Exchange will create further burdensome regulations. Instead of helping consumers make informed decisions about purchasing health care insurance which is the original intention of health care exchanges, this program under the new health care law will heap layers of burdensome rules, restrictions, and mandates on Montana and insurers.
Carl Graham, CEO of Montana Policy Institute talked about the creation of the Montana Health Cooperative with federal loans. Done secretly with 17 long-term Democrat operatives on its board, the Montana Health Care Coop would compete with private insurers and perhaps one day drive private insurers out of business.
As our friend Sen. Joe Balyeat said, “ObamaCare is the seminal freedom issue of our generation. It is the seminal economic issue of our time.” He went on to explain that health care represents one-sixth of our economy and that the free market is much efficient in delivering this service. Comparing federal control of health care to the old Soviet model of central planning, Balyeat reminded us that the Soviet Union ultimately collapsed because it couldn’t feed even its people.
Edward Johnson, a member of MSU Young Americans for Liberty expressed his discouragement over the $16 trillion in debt, a debt that he and his children will be saddled with and decried increasing spending to an outrageous level while simultaneously stealing our liberty.
JD Clark, a local podiatrist was one of several physicians who spoke at the rally. Dr. Clark implored us to preserve the doctor-patient relationship because it is one of the most personal and important relationships we have. He warned that if this mandate is implemented, a lot of doctors will retire early because they are not going to put up with the government dictating to them how to run their practice. Concluding his speech, Dr. Clark said, “Keep your hands off me, keep your hands off my health care, and keep your hands off my practice.”
I also reminded participants that the implementation of ObamaCare in Montana is ill-time and ill-advised. In June, the US Supreme Court will rule on its constitutionality. In November, you will have the opportunity to vote yes on Legislative Referendum 122 prohibiting the state or federal government to impose the individual mandate to buy insurance and penalties to those who refuse to buy. It makes no sense to spend taxpayer funds on the Montana Health Care Exchange or the Montana Health Care Cooperative. On April 20, I will go before the Economic Affairs Interim Committee and urge them to halt implementation of ObamaCare in Montana.
If you would like to see media coverage of our event, check out the Billings Gazette article, and ABC News Montana report. Also, visit our Youtube page to see video highlights of the Hands Off My Health Care rally.