Healthcare

GOP Senators to Harry Reid: Defund ObamaCare

 FreedomWorks

The battle over ObamaCare is heating up. Emboldened over the Obama Administration’s tacit admission that parts of the law are unworkable, a dozen Republican Senators sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid yesterday explaining that they would not support a Continuing Resolution that contains funding for ObamaCare.

“We view the Obama Administration’s recent decision to delay ObamaCare’s employer mandate and eligibility verification for the individual exchanges as further proof the law is a failure that will inevitably hurt businesses, American families, and the economy,” said the Republican Senators in the letter. “In light of this admission, we believe the only way to avert disaster is to fully repeal ObamaCare and start over with a more sensible, practical approach to reforming our healthcare system.”

“[I]f Democrats will not agree with Republicans that ObamaCare must be repealed, perhaps they can at least agree with the president that the law cannot be implemented as written,” they continued. “If the administration will not enforce the law as written, then the American people should not be forced to fund it.”

The Republican Senators — including Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Mike Enzi (R-WY) — noted that defunding ObamaCare is about “fiscal prudence” and “fundamental fairness.”

Ex-Dem Senator: The Left wants ObamaCare to fail

ObamaCare

During the healthcare debate back in 2010, President Barack Obama and many congressional Democrats pursued what was called the “public option,” an avenue for Americans to choose government-run health insurance coverage. Because the idea was unpopular in Congress, they chose to abandon the idea.

But with all the bad news about ObamaCare — rising insurance premiums, implementation problems, and heavy burdens on employers — former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) is wondering if the Left is cheering on the law’s failures because they want a single-payer healthcare system:

Former Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., who retired rather than seek reelection in 2010 after voting for Obamacare, said that the political “far left” wants the law to fail in hopes of replacing it with a “more expansive, government-centered program.”

“The far left may not want to solve some of the problems because they really would prefer to have a more expansive government-centered program,” Bayh said yesterday on “Fox News Sunday,” after repeating the Democratic refrain that “the far right doesn’t want to solve some of these problems. Because they want the bill to fail.”

ObamaCare is the next Big Brother threat

Not only are Americans dealing the NSA’s unconstitutional surveillance and metadata collection, they will also be forced to contend with yet another big government database, brought via ObamaCare, that will gain access to their vital information through data-sharing with government and third-party records:

Would you trust thousands of low-level Federal bureaucrats and contractors with one-touch access to your private financial and medical information? Under Obamacare you won’t have any choice.

Americans Prefer Old Healthcare System to ObamaCare

It’s no secret that ObamaCare is an unpopular law. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that only 35% of Americans viewed ObamaCare favorably, while 40% had an unfavorable view. The poll also found that 53% believe that the law should be altered or repealed.

Fox News has just released a poll that has even worse news for the Obama Administration. The talking point has been that the law is the fix for a broken healthcare system. But Americans aren’t buying it as 56% would rather go back to the old system than be forced to live under ObamaCare:

A Fox News poll released Wednesday finds that while 26 percent of voters say their health care situation will be better under the new law, twice as many — 53 percent — say it will be worse.  Another 13 percent say it won’t make a difference.
[…]
That helps explains why a 56-percent majority wants to go back to the health care system that was in place in 2009.  Some 34 percent would stick with the new law.

Three in ten Democrats would rather go back to the pre-ObamaCare system (30 percent).  That view climbs to 55 percent among independents and 85 percent among Republicans.

The desire to go back to the 2009 system is widespread.  Majorities of higher and lower income groups feel that way, as do men, women, voters with and without college degrees, and voters across all age groups.

Zeke Emanuel Blames “Uncertainty” for Insurance Premium Increases

Health Care Trojan Horse

Insurance premiums are rising. This has been a constant story since the passage of ObamaCare in 2010. Despite President Barack Obama’s insistence that his signature domestic policy would bring down the cost of health insurance coverage, Americans have seen their rates keep increasing.

While the Obama Administration has stuck to its rhetoric on the law, Jonathan Gruber, the architect of ObamaCare, admitted that those in the individual health insurance market would see an “average premium increase of 31 percent.” More recently, the Washington Post noted that individuals who purchase their own coverage and small businesses could see their premiums double, a far greater impact that what was conceded by Gruber.

So what’s the source of the increase in insurance premiums? According to Zeke Emanuel, brother of former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, the reason for higher premiums is “uncertainty.”

“And the last thing, of course, is what happens with cost, which may be the biggest question of all,” Emanuel said during an appearance on Meet the Press. “Can the premiums be kept relatively stable and not growing at, you know, 10, 12 percent?”

House Republican Fires Back at Democrat Who Called ObamaCare a “Train Wreck”

Mike Pompeo

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) had some choice words for Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), the man who both wrote and voted for ObamaCare.

During the Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, Baucus pressed DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the Obama Administration’s implementation of the law and education efforts directed toward businesses and individuals. Baucus warned that this could become a “train wreck” and gave the administration a “failing grade” in its efforts.

The spectacle was one with which conservatives can agree. However, for Baucus, who is up for re-election in 2014, it may be too little too late.

In a letter made available yesterday on his House website, Pompeo expressed indignation toward Baucus, noting that “[n]o one in the country bears more responsibility for the complexity of this law” than Montana’s senior Senator.

“I was stunned, and also saddened, to read of your complaint that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is doing an insufficient job informing the public about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), otherwise known as Obamacare,” wrote Pompeo to Baucus. “My shock wasn’t because I disagreed: You’re right to say this legislation has led to great uncertainty for hard-working Americans, small business owners, and families.”

Regal Cinemas Becomes Latest Business to Cut Hours Over ObamaCare

Regal Cinemas

Another business has been forced to take measures to deal with increased healthcare costs that are a direct result of ObamaCare. In what has become an all too familiar story, Regal Entertainment Group, the country’s largest theater chain, has resorted to cutting hours to keep workers under 30 hours per week:

Regal Entertainment Group, which operates more than 500 theaters in 38 states, last month rolled back shifts for non-salaried workers to 30 hours per week, putting them under the threshold at which employers are required to provide health insurance. The Nashville-based company said in a letter to managers that the move was a direct result of ObamaCare.

“In addition, some managers have requested guidance on what they should tell those employees negatively impacted and, at your discretion, we suggest the following,” read the memo obtained by FoxNews.com. “To comply with the Affordable Care Act, Regal had to increase our health care budget to cover those newly deemed eligible based on the law’s definition of a full-time employee.”

“To manage this budget, all other employees will be scheduled in accord with business needs and in a manner that will not negatively impact our health care budget,” the message continues.

Democratic Senator: ObamaCare a “Train Wreck”

ObamaCare

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), who is up for re-election next year and voted for ObamaCare back in 2010, is warning that implementing the provisions of the law he helped write could become a “train wreck” because businesses and those who would be eligible for coverage under the law don’t understand it:

He told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that people and businesses “have no idea what to do, what to expect” from the law.

“If the administration implements it correctly, millions more Americans will gain access to health care next year,” Baucus said. “I am concerned that not every state, including Montana, will have an insurance marketplace established in time.”

After the hearing, Baucus explained that the train wreck is “that consumers and businesses will just not have enough information. That it will be too confusing.”

He also expressed frustration that the White House and HHS are not providing details of its outreach efforts.

House Republicans Unveil New Budget Blueprint

Paul Ryan

House Republicans have begun the roll out their new budget, which, like their previous budgets, aims to reduce the national debt and tackle entitlement reform. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) previewed his budget plan this weekend on Fox News Sunday and this morning in the Wall Street Journal:

America’s national debt is over $16 trillion. Yet Washington can’t figure out how to cut $85 billion—or just 2% of the federal budget—without resorting to arbitrary, across-the-board cuts. Clearly, the budget process is broken. In four of the past five years, the president has missed his budget deadline. Senate Democrats haven’t passed a budget in over 1,400 days. By refusing to tackle the drivers of the nation’s debt—or simply to write a budget—Washington lurches from crisis to crisis.

House Republicans have a plan to change course. On Tuesday, we’re introducing a budget that balances in 10 years—without raising taxes. How do we do it? We stop spending money the government doesn’t have. Historically, Americans have paid a little less than one-fifth of their income in taxes to the federal government each year. But the government has spent more.

So our budget matches spending with income. Under our proposal, the government spends no more than it collects in revenue—or 19.1% of gross domestic product each year. As a result, we’ll spend $4.6 trillion less over the next decade.

Virginia slashes employee hours because of ObamaCare

ObamaCare cartoon

ThinkProgress, a well known Leftist blog, reported yesterday that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s new budget will slash some employees’ hours to avoid the mandates of ObamaCare:

As part of his state’s new budget, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and his administration are trying to force potentially tens of thousands of public sector employees in the state to work fewer hours so that the government can avoid providing them health care.

Under Obamacare, employers are required to offer health insurance options for any employee working 30 hours or more per week. So McDonnell and his team have slipped language into the state’s budget bill requiring that any hourly waged workers employed by the state put in no more than 29 hours a week.

Many businesses have been doing the same thing. Back in November, the Wall Street Journal reported that a number of restaurants, hotels, and retailers were trimming hours to avoid the costs of ObamaCare. While this may seem unfair, the mandates that employers would be left with would impose increased costs that would be born by consumers through higher prices.

Although I disagree with the title of his post, which states that employers are “screw[ing] workers,” James Joyner explains that Virginia has only a few ways to get around the increased costs of ObamaCare:


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