Why Republicans Will Fight to Repeal Health-Care Takeover (Boehner Op-Ed in the Des Moines Register) | Speaker.gov
It's fitting that President Obama returns to Iowa City today to sell a skeptical public on his massive government takeover of health care.

It was here in May 2007 that President Obama promised his health-care plan would lower premiums by up to $2,500. But now the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) warns that premiums in the individual market will actually rise by as much as $2,100 under the law he signed this week.

That's because, with all its mandates, dictates and regulations, this government takeover of health care will make it more expensive to be a doctor when our nation is already on track to be short 40,000 physicians in 2020. This means being a patient will become more expensive: Fewer doctors and hospitals lead to higher premiums, longer wait times and reduced quality of care.

Owning a small business will become more expensive as well. That's because employers will get slugged with tens of billions in new taxes and mandates enforced by an army of new IRS employees. These proven job-killers will make it harder for Iowa's small businesses to recover from a recession that has been exacerbated by catastrophic flooding. According to a letter signed by more than 130 respected economists at institutions including the University of Iowa, the new law "contains a number of provisions that will eliminate jobs, reduce hours and wages, and limit future job creation."

Of course, this means being a consumer will become more expensive. One manufacturer in the Midwest has already calculated that its compliance costs will be $100 million in the first year alone. If layoffs and budget cuts aren't enough to close this gap, companies will just charge higher prices to consumers.

If there's one thing this law is designed to do, it's make government more expensive. It imposes $570 billion in higher taxes and $523 billion in Medicare cuts - including cuts to innovative and popular Medicare Advantage coverage that serves roughly 61,000 Iowa seniors to prop up legislation chock full of accounting gimmicks that mask its true effect on the deficit. Over the first decade it taxes Americans for 10 years but only provides supposed benefits for six years.

The CBO has stated that without these gimmicks, the new law would increase the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars. This is a recipe for further fiscal disaster at a time when our national debt ($12.7 trillion today) is on track to exceed the size of our entire economy (about $15 trillion) in just two more years.

This means, as with any other Washington program that overspends and under-delivers, being a taxpayer will become much more expensive. Medicare, for instance, was originally projected to cost $12 billion in 1990, but it ended up costing $107 billion that year - a 792 percent over-run. If we try to avoid massive tax hikes by just borrowing more, then being one of our kids and grandkids will become more expensive, too.

This government takeover of health care is not what Americans asked for, not what they can afford, and not what they deserve. That's why Republicans are fighting to repeal it so we can start over with common-sense reforms that get health-care reform right.

Through repeal, we can do away with these job-killing mandates and replace them with affordable solutions to lower costs and cover Americans with pre-existing conditions. We can repeal these Medicare cuts that take choices and benefits away from seniors to fund a new entitlement program, and replace them with reforms that strengthen Medicare for seniors today and tomorrow. We can repeal these Washington accounting gimmicks and replace them with honest policies where you get what you pay for. And we can repeal all the backroom deals that use money we don't have to purchase support for controversial legislation. Then we can start fresh with the voice of the American people.