Conservatives rally to repeal health care law
Kelsey Kruzich / Staff Photo: Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott spoke to a group of conservatives Monday morning in Plano.
The Supreme Court may have ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional, but Republicans are attempting to get the landmark legislation repealed, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott told a group of conservatives Monday morning in Plano.
Abbott was one of several speakers at the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute's 2012 Rally for Freedom, held in the Plano Centre. The coalition was founded in 1996 and is made up of both elected officials and private citizens with the goal of "shaping Texas government and influencing a new generation of conservative leadership."
In his keynote address, Abbott urged conservatives to aim for a repeat of the 2010 mid-term elections, where conservative candidates made huge gains in both the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.
"We know that it is you men and women in this room, and in similar rooms across the country, who are the real soldiers on the front lines ensuring a stronger liberty," Abbott said. "Let me tell you that your leadership and activism are more necessary now than ever because we are facing challenging times with the conservative principles and ideals in this country."
Abbott said the court decisions concerning the health care law, as well as Arizona's Senate Bill 1070 concerning illegal immigration, have inflicted great damage to individual liberty and state sovereignty.
"As we celebrate our nation's independence in just two days, we find ourselves with a constitution which is weaker and our freedom more fragile because of a federal government that has run amok," Abbot said. "... The Obamacare decision was deeply disappointing ... This is a tax on liberty itself and a threat to the very freedoms that we are celebrating this week."
Among the elected officials who participated in a panel discussion were state Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, who represents a portion of east Plano, and Irving-based state Rep. Linda Harper-Brown.
Laubenberg said she will do everything in her power to prevent the formation of health care exchanges, adding that she feels they will break the bank. Harper-Brown was more direct, challenging the oft-quoted notion that Americans have a fundamental right to health care.
"First I want to ask the question of when did health care become a right in this government?" Harper-Brown asked the audience. "... I am still trying to figure out why insurance became such an important part of this. There is a distinction. We already had health care for people who could not afford health care. We had it here in Dallas at Parkland Hospital. ... Perhaps then we should cut all of the budget we give to the hospitals and to the doctors through the health care provisions in our budget, since now we are going to provide everyone with health insurance."
Abbott said he disagreed with the majority opinion on the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Chief Justice John Roberts was, however, on the right track when he wrote it was up to voters to throw out elected leaders responsible for bad policy decisions, Abbott said. Now it is time for Texans to heed Roberts' advice and throw out non-conservative leaders, he said, a remark that was met with a loud round of applause from the several hundred people in attendance.
"If the Supreme Court will not reject Obamacare, then we the people must repeal it lock, stock and barrel," he said. "The Supreme Court judges cast their votes, now in November it is up to us the people to cast our votes. If we do our part, we can vote to repeal Obamacare and repeal those who forced Obamacare on us. But to repeal Obamacare, we must first repeal Barack Obama."