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/