Senator King is supposedly an independent. That might be true; he doesn't officially belong to any party, but his response to my letter exhorting him to stand with Senator Mike Lee leaves little doubt as to where his loyalties lie.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the Affordable Care Act. I was not here when the law was passed, but would have voted for the law as written as I see no legitimate objection to people being required to purchase health insurance. It is simply unconscionable to have 50 million people in this country without health insurance when more than 20,000 people die as a direct result of being uninsured.
However, I am concerned about the way the law will be implemented and am urging the current Administration to take care with implementation in such a way that it does not hinder the work of small businesses. More than 95% of businesses already provide insurance to their employees, and I want to ensure that these employers do not need to go out of their way in order to comply with the provisions in the law.
Once again, thank you for being in touch with me. I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind while I work on the wide range of issues that come before the Senate. Please feel free to contact me in the future on other matters that I can bring to the Senate's attention.
ANGUS S. KING, JR.
United States Senator
Here is my response:
Thank you for your prompt reply. I am disappointed that you are in favor of the Affordable Care Act, and that you would have voted for it. I have a legitimate objection to being forced to buy something. My objection is this: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness..." Forcing me to buy something deprives me of liberty. If this is not a legitimate objection, please explain what makes it illegitimate. The government should not be forcing American citizens to engage in commerce, period. The goal might be for the "greater good", but no good can come out of such a gross overreach of government power.
It's interesting that you would have voted for the law "as written" because you see no objection to forcing people to buy something they may not want. However, the law isn't being implemented "as written". First of all, many organizations have been granted exemptions from the law, and many of those organizations are left-leaning labor unions. Whether or not it's the case, this kind of action on the part of the government makes it appear that certain groups are being rewarded for loyalty while the rest are either ignored or punished. Do you support arbitrarily requiring some people to follow laws, while allowing others to ignore them? Granting waivers to certain groups does just that.
Second, the President unilaterally decided to implement parts of the law, while delaying other parts. If the law was good enough for him to sign "as written", why is it not being implemented "as written?" The President does not have the authority to enforce the law on a piecemeal basis. Once again, this arbitrary application of power smacks of political opportunism. And the worst part of it is, the law is one he pushed for. It was a law that he signed. Now he decides that the law he signed doesn't need to be enforced in its entirety, because doing so will undoubtedly hurt his party in the upcoming midterm elections. Do you support piecemeal enforcement of the law? Do you believe that the President of the United States has the constitutional authority to decide which duly passed and signed laws he will enforce, and which he will ignore for short-term political gain? Doesn't it bother you that the President believes the laws written by you and your colleagues are really just "guidelines" that he can either embrace or ignore according to his whim?
Your concern for small businesses his heartening, but there are aspects of the law that hurt small businesses, and no amount of "care" is going to mitigate the disastrous effects this law will produce. For example, many businesses are already cutting down full-time workers to part time in order to avoid the problems brought on by the ACA "as written". One such employer is a call center located in Concord, California. There were supposed to be 200 full-time jobs being offered there,but half of those are now part-time jobs. The funny thing is that this call center is dedicated to answering people's questions about the Affordable Care Act. Even the very people who have been given the task of enforcing the law don't want to be subject to it. The IRS employee's union is concerned that they will be dumped from the Federal Employee's health care program into the ACA's exchanges. And why shouldn't they? If it's good enough for the unwashed masses, shouldn't it be good enough for them? Shouldn't it be good enough for you?
There are other odious and evil things lurking among the three thousand pages of legislation. One of these is the Medical Device Tax. The Medical Device Tax is sure to hurt small businesses, both those who manufacture such devices, and those who rely on them. Do you support the Medical Device Tax, and if so, why?
I believe you sincerely want to help people, but your faith in government's ability to provide that help is sorely, sorely misguided. We are almost seventeen trillion dollars in debt. This is not the time for another costly entitlement and a new maze of job-killing taxes and regulations. If you want to help, the best thing you can do is work to get the Affordable Care Act repealed, or at the very least, defunded.
I give credit to Senator King for replying to my first email after only a couple of days. Unfortunately, I wasn't all that pleased with his response.