Every Saturday, Maine Gov. Paul LePage speaks to the people of the Pine Tree State in his weekly address. Often mundane, they occasionally tackle a policy issue about which the Governor feels strongly.
In this week's address, LePage used the Independence holiday to contrast what he feels is the overreach of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also called Obamacare):
For 236 years our constitution has tried to uphold our Founding Fathers intent – to protect Americans rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But what our Founding Fathers, I’m sure, did not have in mind is for our rights to be stripped away by our Federal Government. What our Founding Fathers did not see coming is unfair taxation that burdens the American people.LePage and his supporters take pride in the crass, sometimes boorish manner in which the Governor speaks. LePage has told the NAACP to "kiss my butt" and dismissed concerns about BPA by saying that the "worst case is some women may have little beards."
Obamacare is bad policy and bad law. It raises taxes, cuts Medicare for the elderly, gets between patients and their doctors, costs trillions of taxpayer dollars, and kills jobs.
But in his pre-recorded address that was distributed to the media the day before it aired on radio, LePage called the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) the "new Gestapo":
Perhaps what is most disturbing about this ruling, though, is that the federal mandate is considered a TAX. This tax will add to the $500 billion in tax increases that are already in Obamacare. Now that Congress can use the taxation power of the federal government to compel behavior or lack thereof, what’s next? More taxes if we don’t drive Toyota Priuses or if we eat too much junk food or maybe even pea soup?Oddly, Maine will directly benefit from the individual mandate. Maine law has prohibited health insurance companies from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions for years, and has also banned rescission, the practice of cancelling policies when a persons health care costs skyrocket. But unlike the ACA, which also prohibits these two practices, the State does not require every Mainer to have coverage - which helps to explain the comparatively high costs of health insurance here.
This decision has made America less free. We the people have been told there is no choice. You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo – the I.R.S.
Alas, LePage will be governor for another two and a half years.
The complete address and audio recording can be found here.