Historic health care reform signed into law

President Obama signed the historic health care bill on March 23. The bill includes federal funding of abortions.

Attorneys general from 13 states immediately filed a lawsuit challenging the law. The law breaks with more than 30 years of federal policy prohibiting the use of federal dollars to directly pay for abortions.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is heading up the lawsuit. It was filed in federal court in Pensacola, Fla., to “protect the rights and interests of American citizens,” McCollum said.

South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster said the health care reform is “an assault against the Constitution.” He said, “A legal challenge by the states appears to be the only hope of protecting the American people from this unprecedented attack on our system of government.”

Nebraska, Texas, Michigan, Utah, Pennsylvania, Alabama, South Dakota, Louisiana, Idaho, Washington and Colorado are also joining in the battle.

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said all Americans need to speak up. “I’m going to fight this to the end,” he said. “I would just encourage every American – regardless of how dispirited you feel – to fight.”

He also encouraged people to remember the passing of the bill during this fall’s election cycle.

“If we turn out everyone who voted for this thing,” he said, “we can change things. If Americans just forget and go on to other things as the Democrats think they will, then we’ll be in trouble.”

DeMint also reminded people that thousands of health care workers have said they’ll leave the profession because language in the bill violates their conscience, rights and forces them to either participate in or perform abortions. “This will go into action a few years from now,” he said, “and we’ll all be wondering why we can’t find any doctors.”

The enactment of health care reform also likely marked the beginning of one of the biggest tax hikes in American history.

Democrats touted the plan as a way to reduce the deficit, but a closer inspection by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) shows a cost in new taxes of more than $500 billion over 10 years.

Such numbers will have a chilling effect on an economy that is already struggling. “You can’t take $500 billion out of the economy and not have anybody notice it,” said Ryan Ellis, tax policy director at ATR.

“There’s going to be quite a lot of pain.”

Robert Book, senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, said nearly all Americans will be affected.

“There are a number of taxes in the bill designed to pay for health care,” he said. “Most of these taxes are broad-based taxes that apply to pretty much everybody.”

And that means American families will ultimately pay a steep price. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that insurance premiums for a family of four will increase by $2,100 a year.

The final days before the passage of the bill gave the American people a civics lesson in how Congress works these days – and it was somewhat different from what they learned in middle-school social studies.

The House Rules Committee, for example, met on the Saturday before the election to consider passing the Slaughter Rule – the controversial procedural motion allowing the House to “deem” the pro-abortion health care bill to be passed, without actually taking a vote on it.

The rule can be passed by a majority vote, and members will be able to tell voters that they didn’t actually vote for the language of the bill, which is unpopular with a majority of Americans. Republicans have said that’s pushing the boundaries of partisan Current Events.

“The arrogance, the paternalism, the condescension to the American people is just breathtaking,” said Rep.

Paul Ryan, R-Wis., at a recent Budget Committee hearing. “You can’t pass this health care bill the right way, so now you pass it the Washington way. We are not governing here today; we are greasing the skids.”

The rule ultimately failed, and a straight “up or down” vote was taken.

On Capitol Hill and elsewhere, huge efforts by both sides attempted to influence the outcome. Family Research Council Action (FRCA) hosted a live webcast on March 16. The group claims tens of thousands tuned in. Tony Perkins, president of FRCA, said the bill drastically loosens abortion restrictions, and would be financially destructive.

Douglas Johnson, legislative director at the National Right to Life Committee, said the bill has a “cluster bomb of pro-abortion provisions. It is the single most pro-abortion piece of legislation ever to come before the House of Representatives.”

A Rasmussen poll shows 56 percent of Americans oppose the current plan. >

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