WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives approved the government takeover of health care today. Congressman Zach Wamp voted against this legislation and issued the following statement:
“This is a defining moment in the history of our country. At no time has the federal legislature mandated that the American people buy anything. If this is enacted into law, everyone in this country has to buy health insurance under the force of law. This is not right. It is an unconstitutional effort in my view, and an extraordinary government takeover of one-sixth of our economy. We need to stand against it with everything that we have.
“As a Tennessean, I’m gravely concerned about what this will do to our state. It will force hundreds of thousands of people onto TennCare, our state’s Medicaid program. It is a multi-billion dollar mandate on Tennessee and we do not have the money to pay for it. We will not raise taxes, we will not have a state income tax and we will not go into debt because of this mandate. That’s why Tennessee’s Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen has called it the ‘mother of all unfunded mandates.’ If it’s enacted into law, I’m going to help lead the repeal effort. Based on our state sovereignty under the 10th Amendment, we have to stand against this federal government mandate on the states.
“The health care system needs to be improved, but this bill is not the way to go. We should work incrementally on measures that will lower costs, increase access to more affordable care and give citizens more control over their health care decisions without a takeover by the federal government. The right kind of reform would offer access to coverage for all Americans, improve the health care delivery system, hold health insurance companies more accountable, rein in out of control costs and provide responsible medical liability reform.”