Statement from Senator Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet; Rep. Linda Elam, R-Mt. Juliet; and Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon; June 28, 2012:
( WILSON COUNTY, TN) June 28, 2012 – Three Tennessee lawmakers who have fought tirelessly over the past two years to thwart the implementation of “Obamacare” in the state of Tennessee were disappointed by the United States Supreme Court’s decision today which declared the massive and unprecedented law passed by Congress in 2010 as constitutional.
“I am disappointed in the Court’s ruling today,” said Sen. Mae Beavers, Chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee and sponsor of the Tennessee Health Freedom Act (SB 79) which became law in 2011. “I still believe that punishing a Tennessean for failing to purchase a particular product that the federal government believes they must purchase simply for being a citizen is an action that would make our forefathers turn over in their graves. Thankfully, the Court seemed to agree with me and Rep. Elam and Rep. Pody on the Commerce Clause issue, which should prove helpful in future policy debates, even if they found the health care act constitutional on tax grounds.”
Rep. Linda Elam expressed similar concerns this past year, and sponsored and passed HJR 614, a resolution calling for a return to the original meaning of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. Rep. Elam also fought tirelessly against bills which sought to expand federal power and limit the freedoms of Tennesseans.
“As an attorney and a defender of the Constitution, I am disappointed that the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, but am grateful that they seemed to interpret the Commerce Clause to more accurately reflect the true intent of our Constitution,” said Rep. Elam. “It was an honor to work on such an important piece of legislation last year; now I hope that Congress will overturn Obamacare, and I look forward to working to lower health care costs in a constitutional and appropriate way for Tennesseans, increasing choice and keeping the quality of our medical care the best in the world.”
Fellow Wilson County lawmaker and and House sponsor of the Health Care Compact (HB 369), Rep. Mark Pody, also expressed disappointment over the Court’s decision, but expressed optimism that the ruling would pave the way for states to work together in offering more affordable health care choices to its citizens, in particular their ruling regarding the Medicaid provision of the act.
“I hope that today’s important ruling lets the federal government know that they still do not have free reign when it comes to their power, and that our great country will not see its health care system fall the way of Europe and other counties who have witnessed the horrors associated with socialist systems,” said Rep. Pody.
Sen. Beavers, who was the Senate sponsor of the Commerce Clause resolution and Health Care Compact bill, which sought to allow member states to work together to lower the costs of health care, expressed appreciation for all of the various states who joined the lawsuit, as well as those legislators who voiced opposition to “Obamacare.”
“I hope we can pass the Health Care Compact next year in Tennessee, and I look forward to working with Rep. Elam, Rep. Pody and other conservative lawmakers who hope to lower health care costs and raise quality in an efficient and constitutional manner,” said Sen. Beavers.