Rep. Marino's Commentary on 1st Anniversary of Health Care Act
It's been one year since President Obama defied the will of the American people and signed into law H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
This massive overhaul of the American health-care system, which came to be known as ObamaCare, allowed for government intrusion into the finest health-care system in the world.
When then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged her colleagues to support the 2,000-plus page bill, she quipped that "we" -- meaning those legislators who voted for it -- would have to pass the bill to find out what it contained.
No truer words were ever spoken, especially by the former Speaker.
Twelve months later, we are still assessing the damage that this law has wrought on the American economy.
1. So far, the Secretary of Health and Human Services has issued more than 1,000 waivers to organizations, many of which are traditional allies of the President, including labor unions. These waivers exempt more than 2.6 million people from certain aspects of the new law.
If this is such a great law, why are President Obama's friends asking to be exempted from it?
2. There is no doubt that our health-care system is the finest in the world. The biggest problem is that health insurance is so expensive that most people can’t afford it and employers are finding it increasingly difficult to provide this benefit that was once so basic and taken for granted.
But, the law did not lower health-care costs. In fact, a report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid indicates that national health expenditures would actually increase under ObamaCare.
3. The bill is detrimental to the U.S. economy because it thwarts job creation by hurting small business, the backbone of our nation.
A little-known section of the bill would have required businesses and other entities to file an IRS Form 1099 for every expenditure over $600. That led to the passage of H.R. 4, which repealed that burdensome law.
The good news is that just 2 1/2 months into the 112th Congress, we are making great strides into reversing some of the ill effects of the bill.
Repeal Is The Only Solution
As I have said on numerous occasions, unless the health care law is repealed, it will ultimately raise taxes on all Americans, increase health care costs and put government bureaucrats in between patients and their doctors. It also is based on an unconstitutional individual mandate that requires them to purchase health insurance or face a penalty imposed by the IRS.
The law cuts Medicare by about half a trillion dollars which, even the President's own actuaries have said, could jeopardize access for seniors.
But, the most pressing problem is that the law will cost American jobs at a time when our nation can least afford it.
The House of Representatives has already begun the process of repealing ObamaCare. We started with a vote to fully repeal it and when the Senate did not follow through, we refused to give up and started chopping away at the core of the law.
Sure, there is much work to be done.
We need to convince the Senate and the Obama Administration to follow the lead of the House – which, in essence, is the will of the people. We need them to follow through on the bold steps we have taken.
Critics have called many of the measures we have taken “symbolic” since they believe that the Senate will never push through some of the bills that have been introduced and passed in the House.
But I remain an optimist. I believe that more of our counterparts in the Senate will take a long, hard look at the obvious – that ObamaCare is hurting the American economy, punishing small business and establishing a roadblock for job creation.
Most of all, I believe that they will see that the American people did not want ObamaCare when it became law a year ago and they like it even less today.
My Votes On The Issue
Every since I was sworn into office, I have been committed to repealing ObamaCare and lifting this heavy burden that is weighing down on the economy.
I’ve been doing this through votes on the House floor; co-sponsoring and supporting legislation; and enacting common-sense reforms that address the true problem in our health care system – rapidly increasing costs.