WASHINGTON — In this week’s Republican address, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) discusses the House’s ongoing efforts to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. Next week, Congress will send a bill—the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act—to the president’s desk that accomplishes both of these goals.

“We owe it to the American people to take our best shot at repealing Obamacare, and that’s what we’ll do next week,” Rep. Hartzler said. “As a result, President Obama will soon have a choice: Does he support the people and women’s health, or does he support Washington mandates and tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood?”

Rep. Hartzler, a co-chair of the House Values Action Team and member of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, is a member of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. To learn more, visit her official website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter. 

NOTE: The audio of the weekly address is available here, and the video will be available on Speaker.gov

Remarks of Representative Vicky Hartzler of Missouri
Weekly Republican Address
Kansas City, Missouri
January 2, 2016

Hello, I’d like to first extend my thoughts and prayers to those affected by the catastrophic weather events of this past week. Missouri is experiencing extensive flooding as are other states. Families across the South are picking up the pieces of their lives after being devastated by tornadoes. Ice and snow have caused power outages in multiple states. It wasn't the holiday week we were expecting but there is help. If you are affected, I urge you to reach out to your U.S. Representative’s office, state and local authorities, or the federal and state emergency management agencies for resources to deal with the aftermath. While the assistance can't undo the damage, it can help get you on a path to recovery so 2016 can be a New Year with new hope.   

As Congress returns next week, in one of our first acts of the new year, the House will vote on a bill that would eliminate key parts of Obamacare and stop taxpayer funding for abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. This would be a significant step in improving our health care system. If this bill becomes law, patients will be able to choose a health insurance plan that works for them—without Washington getting in the way.

That’s the problem with Obamacare: It forces people to buy insurance that’s much more expensive than what they need. And when you force millions of people to buy expensive and unaffordable insurance, it’s not that surprising to see premiums going up. Deductibles are going up too—all while people’s choices are disappearing. They’re losing their doctors. They can’t find a good plan. Millions of people have lost the plans they had. Far too many are paying more and getting less.

If we want to make health insurance more affordable, we should make insurance companies compete for your business. That means we should not force people to buy insurance. It means the exact opposite. Our bill addresses this injustice by eliminating the core of Obamacare: It repeals the individual mandate. If this bill becomes law, you won’t have to buy insurance or face a penalty. It will be your choice. This bill also eliminates the employer mandate to offer insurance. No longer will job creators have to choose between hiring more workers or paying for coverage they can’t afford. And this bill eliminates many of the Obamacare taxes on things like prescription drugs and medical devices. Critical medicine and medical devices are the very things that save lives. They should never have been taxed in the first place. This bill will set things right.

The point of health care is to preserve and protect life. That’s why this bill stops taxpayer funding for abortion providers. The people have, for years, asked Congress to stop sending taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, especially after we learned last year of the disturbing practices Planned Parenthood officials engage in such as harvesting and selling baby body parts. These actions—along with the hundreds of thousands of abortions they perform each year—show a blatant disregard for human life. That's why this bill places a moratorium on taxpayer funding to abortion providers and redirects that money to community health centers. These health centers serve eight times more women patients than Planned Parenthood, and they provide much more comprehensive care.

We were sent to Congress to fight for the American people. They do not want their healthcare dictated to them by Washington. And they don’t want their tax dollars going to abortion providers. We have taken many votes to preserve health care choices and protect precious tax dollars in the House. If the president didn't hear the people's voices earlier, hopefully, he will through this bill. It will go directly to his desk by way of the reconciliation process, which avoids obstruction by Senate Democrats.  

We owe it to the American people to take our best shot at repealing Obamacare, and that’s what we’ll do next week. As a result, President Obama will soon have a choice: Does he support the people and women’s health, or does he support Washington mandates and tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood?

For the sake of the American people, I hope he makes the right choice.

Thanks for listening—Happy New Year and God Bless.


Rep. Vicky Hartzler proudly represents the good people of Missouri’s 4th Congressional District, which is comprised of 24 counties in West-Central Missouri, and serves on the House Armed Services, Agriculture, and Budget Committees.