An opponent of Mitt Romney's 2006 health-care reforms, Perry had strong words for the passage of the House bill (emphasis added):
I firmly believe that all Americans deserve quality health care coverage; but to be clear, I am opposed to the health care legislation passed by Congress today. I know the Bill as passed will raise taxes, increase government spending and lower the quality of care, especially for our senior citizens.Perry's two-fronted attack upon the health-care bill---on matters of principle and policy mechanisms---is one that many Republicans will be making over the next seven or so months.
Furthermore, the version of the Health Care Mandate Bill passed by Congress today, which includes a legal requirement that individuals must purchase a private health insurance policy cannot be reconciled with our Constitution. No matter where one stands on health care reform, conservatives and liberals should be equally concerned about ignoring the limitation of powers our Founding Fathers wisely placed on the Federal government...Although happening in small and seemingly innocuous increments, the growing size and scope of government at all levels is one of the greatest threats to the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. Often, politicians and the public in general are willing to allow small increases in government’s power in hopes that government will be able to solve some perceived problem we as a society are currently experiencing. However, this slow and steady erosion of our personal freedoms and personal responsibility is mounting a cumulative negative effect on the founding principles of the United States.
Do we really want to have a government that has the power to dictate, under the threat of oppressive sanctions that each and every person must purchase a certain product? If this can be done with a health insurance mandate, it is entirely reasonable to believe that in the near future the same logic will be applied to long term care insurance, disability insurance and why not life insurance. Where does this power and growth in government end? How much power are you willing to give to the Federal government over your life and personal choices?
During the debate on this issue in 2006, estimates of the cost of this program were unrealistic and I believe everyone knew so. However, it was politically correct to pass this mammoth social program without considering how much it would cost. My fear was then, and is now, that we have grossly underestimated the long term cost of this program and there will be many unintended consequences that will far outweigh any perceived benefits. It should also be expected that when the new tax on business is not enough to fund the program, the Legislature will be forced to raise taxes again to make up the difference as we just did with Governor Patrick’s $1 billion tax increase. Our Federal deficit is running in the tens of the trillions. How much more are we willing to place on the backs of future generations?