The following Op-Ed by Rick Santorum first appeared on USNews.com on March 26, 2012:
Healthcare is an issue that impacts each and every one of us. Fortunately, in America, we have been blessed with the most advanced healthcare system the world has ever seen. Indeed, we have been incredibly innovative and successful in providing effective and quality care.
For this to continue, I do believe that the choices in healthcare must remain in the hands of patients and healthcare providers--not the government.
This week the Supreme Court is taking up this very question. And the legal argument comes down to this: Do we want a "new order" of healthcare in America--one reflected in Obamacare that was spawned by Romneycare--that makes us dependent on government for our very lives? Or, do we want to have the freedom to make those choices ourselves?
Polls show Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to Obamacare, especially the individual mandate. Certainly, our Founding Fathers would be, too.
They devised a system of government in which individual liberty is protected with restraints on the government. The Constitution includes a list of enumerated powers that Congress possesses with most of the authority reserved for the states. The Founders never intended that those powers would grow and expand to the point where Congress could one day force Americans to purchase health insurance.
Obamacare is an unprecedented departure from our system of limited government. It was the Democrats' single-most important legislative priority because they have a fundamentally different view than I have of the proper relationship between the government and individuals.
I'm running for president, in part, because I believe Obamacare is a dangerous precedent and should be repealed in its entirety. Mitt Romney is the author and champion of Romneycare, which possesses many of the same features as Obamacare--including an individual mandate. For conservatives who believe in America's founding principle of limited government, Mitt Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts, where he established an early model of Obamacare, is troubling, to say the least.
The oral arguments this week in the Supreme Court mirror the larger conversation that is occurring politically across the nation: do we want to continue our political system with a limited government whose powers are reined in by the clear limitations of the Constitution, or do we want to uphold Obamacare's vision of a limitless government that has the authority to regulate anything it wants? It is my hope that the Supreme Court will rule on the side of the limited government granted in our Constitution.