The President’s Health Care Law is Hurting Our Economy, and Must Be Fully Repealed

It’s no secret that our nation’s economy is struggling, and the president’s health care law, enacted in 2010, is making things worse — raising health costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire workers.  The only way to change this is by repealing ObamaCare in its entirety.

There has been much renewed media focus on the president’s health care law in recent months because the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule in June on the question of whether the law is constitutional.  But the American people have never lost their focus on it.  They didn’t like the law when it was rammed through Congress by President Obama and a Democratic majority in 2010, and according to most public opinion surveys, they like it even less now.

It’s not difficult to understand why most Americans remain opposed to ObamaCare.  Many question its constitutionality; I’m certainly one of them.  But the law’s negative impact on Americans’ daily lives is what I hear about the most.

Americans are dealing every day with the tough realities of life in the Obama economy.  They’re facing rising prices for food, gas, college tuition and health care.  Many are out of work.  And among those fortunate enough to have jobs, many are struggling to keep them.  Couple this with the ever-present specter of higher taxes — which are constantly being threatened by the president and his advisors — and the possibility of another downgrade in our nation’s credit rating as a consequence of the national debt that has exploded under the president’s spending policies, and it’s a pretty grim picture.  If you’re reading this, you know exactly what I mean.

The president’s health care law was supposed to lower health care costs and create jobs, with one Congressional leader promising the immediate creation of 400,000 jobs.  Instead it has raised health care costs and made it harder for small businesses to hire new workers, making things worse.  Its failure parallels that of the president’s ill-fated ‘stimulus’ spending law, which was supposed to keep the national unemployment rate from rising above eight percent.  More than three years later, the unemployment rate has yet to fall below eight percent under President Obama.

What Americans wanted in 2010, and still want today, is a common-sense, step-by-step approach to health care reform — not the costly, 2,700-page government takeover of our health system that produced the president’s ‘comprehensive’ health care law.

As I said then, and still believe now, ‘comprehensive’ is not something Washington does well.  My Republican colleagues and I passed legislation (H.R. 2) through the House last year to fully repeal the president’s health care law as one of our first acts as a new majority, and full repeal remains our goal.  It was part of our Pledge to America in 2010, and anything less is unacceptable.

The House Republican majority has voted 29 times so far to repeal, defund, and dismantle President Obama’s health care law.  In addition to H.R. 2, the jobs-focused budgets passed by the House this year (H.Con.Res. 112) and last (H.Con.Res. 34) fully repeal and defund the government takeover of health care.  We’ve passed — and the president has signed into law — our bill to repeal ObamaCare’s paperwork mandate on small businesses.  We enacted legislation preventing the IRS from hiring 16,500 new agents who would have helped to impose the law’s tax hikes and mandates.

The list goes on.  The House passed legislation (H.R. 5) repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a panel of 15 unelected and unaccountable government bureaucrats tasked under ObamaCare with rationing care for America’s seniors.  We’ve successfully eliminated several ObamaCare slush funds that were slated to waste billions of taxpayer dollars.  And we’ve passed legislation that would eliminate another one and use the funds to prevent student loan rates from doubling this summer.

There’s no telling how the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of the president’s health care law.  But regardless of what the Court decides, Republicans will not respond in a manner that repeats the Democrats’ mistakes.  We won’t rush to pass a massive bill the American people don’t support.

The number-one health care concern of families and small business is the cost of health care.  They want a step-by-step, common-sense approach that will lower costs.

It’s also worth noting that women make 85 percent of the health care decisions in our country, and represent the vast majority of health care professionals in America.  The step-by-step, common-sense health care reforms my colleagues and I have long supported will ensure families and doctors make health care decisions — not Washington.  We want families to be able to make their own choices in health care, visit the doctor of their choosing, and receive the health care they and their doctor feel is best.

The big question is what President Obama and the Democrats who run the Senate will do after the Court rules.  Will they renew their quest for government-centered health care?  Or will they abandon ObamaCare and work with us step-by-step on patient-centered solutions that lower health care costs?

In the weeks ahead, we’ll learn the answer.  But one thing is already clear: regardless of how the Court rules, the president’s health care law is raising costs and hurting small businesses, and it must be fully repealed.

John Boehner represents Ohio’s 8th District, which includes all of Darke, Miami, and Preble counties, most of Butler and Mercer counties, and the northeastern corner of Montgomery County. He was first elected to Congress in 1990. This column first appeared at http://boehner.house.gov/

14 replies »

  1. Well said BW. Not once does he mention that the economy is improving. He is only trying to rag on ObamaCare and is not suggesting to help improve the healthcare situation at all. This is the state of policy debate, let’s not talk about the real issues let’s just oppose anything Obama does in hopes to get our voices heard. Instead of worrying about pointing fingers or name calling he should be concerned about helping the situation for everyone’s benefit.

  2. Did I miss the part where he shares the data/information supporting his conclusion that the ACA is adding cost, negatively impacting jobs, the economy and the quality of care? I might be inclined to consider his position if he spent a sentence or two stating some facts to support his position? Sad but this is the state of policy debate by our politicians. And nothing about those clear positives some patients and physicians are happy about – how do you propose to deal with those? Oh, I forgot, you don’t care because “repeal Obomacare” is a better rallying cry than “We need to continue to reform healthcare to improve access, decrease costs and increase quality, possibly keeping some of the ACA’s ideas but possibly making some other changes . . .”

  3. Pretty standard party-line talking points from Boehner. There are definitely some legitimate critiques of the bill (from both the left and right), but there are plenty of aspects of the bill that have wide support. Most of the desire to repeal is because of politics, not policy, which is incredibly frustrating.

    If Speaker Boehner had used some of the time wasted on 29 symbolic repeal votes to instead work to help the economy and job creation, perhaps we would be better off. The right hasn’t really come up with a substantive alternative to the ACA other than the Ryan plan (which is less popular, and is basically a massive cost-shift). Obviously it’s easier to score political points by criticizing existing legislation rather than coming up with a real fix of their own.

  4. Mr. Boehner,

    Please understand that defunding the implementation of health care reform smacks of a temporary measure that does nothing to decrease the uncertainty and does not make people want to go out and hire people either.

    If congress doesn’t do comprehensive well and does incremental well then why not work on legislation to fix what is wrong with “Obamacare” and make it something that even the Senate Democrats would agree is reasonable so that it could pass?

    Are you saying there is nothing in that huge law that was worthwhile ? For example, the American people overwhelmingly support the mandate to cover children until age 26. Are you against that too?

    Why not improve the existing law in case your grand scheme to repeal it (or have the Supreme Court overturn it) doesn’t come to fruition? If it is truly as toxic as you say it is, to do something to fix it would be better than a “repeal or bust” gambit. Why wait for the Supreme Court to legislate from the bench on what stays and what goes if the individual mandate is repealed? Isn’t that the job of congress to decide? What on earth are you waiting for? Where’s your plan B?



  5. Dear Mr. Speaker,

    My patients and my children (ages less than 26 years) are all doing rather well, thank you, on the Obamacare components that kicked in early.

    I think that your calculations may be flawed. Here you are, wasting $ billions on the computerization of medical care with nary any proof in the peer reviewed medical literature of any cost, safety, or outcomes benefit for the patients, and you are complaining about Obamacare? Hello?

    Did you perform the calculations on the costs of the many deaths, injuries, increases in med malpractice, downtime mayhem, and wasted professional time, from your mandating the use of experimental EHR and CPOE medical devices? Just wondering.

    Best regards,


  6. One possible way to test whether this is really a blog post, or just a cut and paste of talking points written for Rep Boehner by someone else is:
    – Will the Representative reply to any of these comments?

  7. One other thought Mr. Speaker – the Individual Mandate was A REPUBLICAN IDEA which was originally proposed by the Heritage Foundation back in 1990.

    Nothing like being for something before being against it.

  8. I used to really like the Healthcare Blog b/c it was very policy and tech oriented. However between this post and the one from Betsy McCaughy it appears it is becoming a place for partisans to hack their positions which is disappointing.

  9. What Speaker Boehner and his colleagues in the House did not do was to repeal or defund HITECH. After all, HITECH provides the illusory “savings” with which much of Obamacare will be funded.

    Mr. Speaker, how can you justify the $billions of US public healthcare dollars ending up in the pockets of Cerner, Epic, McKesson, Allscripts, Siemens (and others) executives and shareholders without unequivocal public health benefits being demonstrated??

    The comparable program failed in the UK and is wasting big bucks and lives in Australia.

    You, actually all of you, voted for HITECH.

    HITECH is the sham on America. Obamacare is merely a byproduct of this sham and could not proceed without HITECH.

    Your opposition Obamacare is simply disingenuous if you continue to support HITECH.



  10. John, well said. Americans do want a “step-by-step, common sense approach.” No doubt about that. It’s too bad we, as a country can’t completely remove political roadblocks and work on root-level solutions to controlling medical costs. Also, I wish the term “controlling medical costs” would be used as much as the term “healthcare reform” is. Medical costs are the main culprit here. Not the only culprit, but the hearts of the problem IMO.


    Jared J. Balis

  11. I understand the desire to print opinions from a wide range of sources, but these are just campaign talking points. With a quick search of the healthcare blog, I could find better and more in-depth analyses of everything in the above post. Why bother printing it here?

  12. “2,700-page government takeover”

    906 pages to be exact (and, ~60% of the pages are simply wide L/R margins)..

    And, hardly of “government takeover,” given the sweetheart deal given to the private, for-profit AHIP crowd.

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