The House will return to the people's business this week, holding a vote to repeal ObamaCare and taking the first steps toward replacing it with common-sense reforms that will lower health care costs and protect jobs -- as outlined in the Pledge to America. Repealing the job-crushing health care law is critical to boosting small business job creation and growing the economy. For example, repealing ObamaCare will:
- Eliminate the law's maze of job-destroying taxes, penalties, and mandates – including more than $770 billion in tax hikes and the costly “1099 mandate” that Speaker Boehner pointed out “requires small businesses to report any total purchases that run more than $600" – that impose new costs on job creators and hurt economic growth. Analysis by the Heritage Foundation concludes that "The best way to prevent further erosion of the economy is to repeal the new law";
- Cut more than $540 billion in government spending. President Obama and Congressional Democrats have been on a job-crushing spending spree that has left us with nothing but historic unemployment and the most debt in U.S. history. Former Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin says repealing the health care law is “a first step toward fiscal sanity”; and
- Pave the way for Congress to pass common-sense reforms that will lower costs and protect jobs without imposing unconstitutional mandates or kicking people out of coverage they like.
Lawmakers who oppose repealing ObamaCare will be voting to keep in place a health care law - written behind closed doors in then-Speaker Pelosi's office and opposed by the American people - that will:
- Destroy American jobs. A CBO report says ObamaCare "will reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by … roughly half a percent" -- meaning hundreds of thousands of jobs lost. The Heritage Foundation pegs it at around "670,000 lost job opportunities per year." The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) says the law will wreak havoc on small businesses and that "more than 90 percent of them favor repeal ..." The CBO also concluded that ObamaCare would “increase gross federal debt" -- and more debt means fewer jobs;
- Increase health care costs. ObamaCare means higher health care costs all around -- overall spending on health care will increase by more than $310 billion according to Medicare’s chief actuary. For families, CBO analysis found that premiums on individual health care policies would rise by 10 to 13 percent more under ObamaCare than they would have otherwise. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported that health insurers plan to "raise premiums for some Americans as a direct result of the health overhaul";
- Force people out of coverage they like. Republicans on the House Ways & Means Committee found that by 2013 “87 million Americans (1 out of 2 Americans with employer coverage) will no longer be able to retain the health plan they have and like.” NFIB says the health care law makes it harder for small businesses "to 'keep what they’ve got,' driving them to absorb huge cost increases or, worse, being forced to buy even more expensive products." And CBO Director Doug Elmendorf says the law's dramatic cuts to Medicare - used to fund another unsustainable entitlement - would "reduce access to care or diminish the quality of care” for seniors. The Washington Examiner reported that the "Medicare Advantage cuts will force 4.8 million seniors off the popular plan by 2019."
The House of Representatives will begin consideration of H.R. 2 - which would fully repeal ObamaCare - on Tuesday with a vote scheduled for Wednesday. On Thursday the House will take up H. Res. 9 which will instruct several Congressional committees to report back with legislation for replacing ObamaCare.
House leaders postponed legislative activity last week out of respect to the victims of the tragic shooting in Arizona. Upon returning to the people's business this week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said:
“No act of violence is going to keep us from doing our jobs and representing the will of our constituents. The American people have made it clear they want us to focus on cutting spending and removing barriers to job creation, and repealing the health care law is critical to fulfilling these priorities. The lawmakers, officials, and employees of the House have performed admirably in response to the tragedy in Arizona, and I know they will continue to do so as we return to the people’s business.”