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November 2, 2010

GET TO WORK: Repeal Obamacare

THE ISSUE

The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (Public Law 111-148, as amended, known as "Obamacare") is an abject failure. Congress should pass a law repealing the Obamacare statute and thereafter undertake a careful, thoughtful legislative process to make practical adjustments that allow the free market to provide affordable, effective health care insurance choices.

Until Congress is able to get the President to sign a law repealing Obamacare, Congress should in the meantime endeavor to withhold funding, block key provisions, and override regulations carrying out Obamacare.

THE FACTS

  • Workers and Families Face Increased Costs: Businesses will suffer under Obamacare by facing higher costs. They are struggling to meet disruptive employer mandates; accommodate new taxes on insurance, drugs, medical devices and investment; and comply with piles of Federal agency regulations and IRS paperwork. These costs will be either passed on to customers or to employees who will face lower wages or lost jobs.
  • Senior Americans Lose Access: Many seniors will find that access to health care will become more difficult because of massive reductions in Medicare payments. Deep cuts to private Medicare Advantage options alone will cause 7.4 million seniors to lose current coverage.
  • Physicians Lose Too: Obamacare did not fix the Medicare physician payment formula, so doctors face a 23 percent payment cut in December 2010. The increase in the number of Americans enrolled in Medicaid, combined with the fact that Medicaid pays doctors an average of 56 percent of what they would get in private practice with paying customers, will test the willingness of many doctors, and especially specialists, to continue to serve the Medicaid population. Further, under Obamacare doctors face more Federal Government regulations and reporting requirements, driving up the cost and hassle of practicing medicine.
  • States Already Objecting: States understand the Obamacare disaster and have sued the Federal Government. Their goal is to try to strike down as unconstitutional Obamacare’s commands to States to expand their Medicaid programs and set up federally designed health insurance exchanges and to individuals to buy insurance or suffer penalties.
  • Federal Taxpayers Hit The Hardest: Obamacare will add a trillion dollars in new Federal spending and create spending "time bombs" set to go off in 2014. These come in the form of prohibitively expensive new entitlements for long-term care and for insurance subsidies (which discourage work and penalize marriage). Obamacare will also impose about a half-trillion dollars in new taxes over the next decade, which fall heavily on the middle-class.

CONGRESS MUST

  • Repeal Obamacare: Congress must immediately pass a law repealing Obamacare.
  • Without Presidential Signature -- Withhold Funding, Block Provisions and Regulations: Until Obamacare is repealed, Congress should withhold funding, block key provisions, and override regulations carrying out Obamacare.
  • Proceed Carefully Towards Market-Based Reform: After Congress repeals Obamacare, it should give thoughtful consideration to practical adjustments to permit the free market to furnish Americans with affordable, effective health care insurance choices.
  • Promote Personal Control: Congress should promote personal control of health coverage and costs through the free market, where individuals have the opportunity to make market decisions based on price and value. For example, Congress should provide tax relief for individual taxpayers who purchase health care coverage on their own and should redirect health care spending under the Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to help low-income families and individuals purchase private health insurance.
  • Enable Portability: Congress also should enact a law that facilitates Federal and State activities to increase the portability of private health insurance coverage.

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