Sen. Roy Blunt
In 2009, President Obama repeated a line that he and other Democrats used many times in describing Obamacare: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep [it].”
Unfortunately, in the three years since the president signed his health care takeover into law, it’s become increasingly clear that this flawed plan will only deliver more broken promises and more bad news for families and job creators nationwide.
Republicans have long warned that Obamacare is bad for the economy, thanks to almost 20,000 pages of new regulations, 159 new bureaucracies, numerous boards and bureaucratic programs. And recent reports have reinforced what we’ve feared since this massive overhaul was passed into law — Obamacare will burden Americans with trillions of dollars in new taxes, costly penalties and new government obligations that will stifle job creation nationwide.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has warned that the president’s health care plan will slash approximately 800,000 jobs, increase government spending by $1.2 trillion, and force 7 million Americans to lose their employer-sponsored coverage.
A leading health care advocacy group recently noted that millions of people will be priced out of health insurance under Obamacare because of a glitch in the law that adversely affects people with modest incomes who cannot afford family coverage offered by their employers.
Meanwhile, an independent study by the Society of Actuaries estimates insurance companies will have to pay out an average of 32 percent more for medical claims on individual health policies under Obamacare by 2017. For Missourians, this study shows that medical claims costs could increase by 58.8 percent per person — making Missouri's projected cost increase the eighth highest in the country.
Even President Obama’s top health care official, Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, finally admitted that insurance premiums could increase under the law, saying: “There may be a higher cost associated with getting into that market” where “folks will be moving into a really fully insured product for the first time.”
At a time when millions of Americans are still searching for jobs, the last thing we should do is discourage economic growth. But at the start of next year, job creators will be forced to start complying with this new law or pay the penalty — leading even state governments to reduce hours for full-time employees to avoid paying penalties or providing health care.
This move will force Americans to take on numerous part-time jobs to make ends meet, meaning the person who serves your coffee in the morning may be the same person serving your dinner in a different spot the same night.
For those employers who decide it’s more cost effective to pay the penalty than to comply with the law, many hard-working Americans will see their plans change or lose them altogether.
This isn’t what Obama promised when he and congressional Democrats rammed this unpopular plan into law — and it’s no surprise that my colleagues who voted for this bill are suddenly having a change of heart.
Four Senate Democrats co-sponsored a Republican bill to repeal the law’s $30 billion medical device tax — a provision that I was proud to support as part of the recent budget debate and which overwhelmingly passed the Senate. Meanwhile, 10 House Democrats are co-sponsoring a bill to repeal the controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board
We can all agree that we must fix our nation’s health care system, but Obama’s one-size-fits-all government takeover is not the right answer. There are a number of steps we can take to make America’s health care system work better — including medical liability reform and allowing patients to purchase plans across state lines.
That’s why I recently voted for an amendment to defund Obamacare, I voted against the Senate Democrats’ budget, and I’ll continue to fight to repeal the most flawed components of this law so we can replace it with common-sense reforms to put patients and doctors in control of their health care instead of Washington bureaucrats.