Since the passage of Obamacare, the federal government’s role in American citizens’ lives has grown significantly. In a recent lecture, Heritage expert Robert Moffit discusses how passage of the health care law has not only grown the size and scope of government, but has also ignited a debate over the proper role for Washington in Americans’ everyday lives.

Moffit writes that, under Obamacare:

Over the next eight years, millions of Americans will be on the receiving end of a flood of red tape—tens of thousands of pages of new rules, regulations, and guidelines directly touching on the minute details of the health care system and impacting their personal lives. It will be unlike anything they have ever seen before. No nook or cranny of the sprawling health care sector of the economy will escape the federal bureaucracy: doctors, hospitals; clinics, pharmaceutical companies and biomedical research facilities, medical device manufacturers, employers (large and small), insurers, and the state health care programs currently administered by governors and funded by state legislators.

Moreover, serious questions remain as to whether the law—specifically, its requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance or else pay a penalty—can stand under the Constitution. According to legal experts, allowing the individual mandate would greatly diminish restrictions placed on the powers of Congress. Moffit asks, “If Congress really does have the constitutional authority to force us to buy health insurance, logically, where would that congressional authority stop? Why not life insurance? Why not firearms? Why not automobiles?”

Not only will Obamacare cause a huge increase in government authority in the health care sector; it also fails to live up to the promises that the President made to the American people for health care reform. Moffit points out that the new law will not allow all Americans to keep their current health plans or doctors. It will not reduce health insurance premiums—in fact, it will do the opposite. And taxes will increase, as will the federal deficit.

In the face of this grim outlook, there is hope moving forward. Moffit expresses that Americans should continue to push back against the ever-encroaching federal government. State legislatures and governors can be especially effective in taking the lead against the bad policies enacted under Obamacare. According to Moffit, “if a state legislator sincerely believes that the health care law is unconstitutional, he is under no obligation to vote one red cent of state taxpayers’ money to enforce it. For those who take their oath seriously, it is not even an option.”

Obamacare is a threat to federalism, individual rights, and the American way of life. While the federal government continues to overstep its bounds, states and individuals still have the opportunity to fight back. To read Moffit’s lecture in its entirety, click here.

Co-authored by Margot Crouch.