OPINION: Rep. Marsha Blackburn in Investor's Business Daily: The President's Broken ObamaCare Promises: Time To Repeal

May 16, 2013


The President's Broken ObamaCare Promises: Time To Repeal
May 15, 2013
By Rep. Marsha Blackburn

On Thursday, the House will vote to fully repeal ObamaCare. We are voting to repeal it because the law was unaffordable and unpopular when the Democrats rammed it through Congress without a single Republican vote more than three years ago, and each day that passes the list of devastating consequences on premiums, taxes, and job creation continues to grow.

We are voting to repeal ObamaCare because the president promised, on the day he signed the law, that it would lower costs for businesses and families. But the sad truth is that the last three years have been littered with broken promises, and everyday folks from recent college graduates to older Americans will pay the price. Just this week the Energy and Commerce Committee, where I serve as vice chairman, discovered internal insurance company documents showing that ObamaCare will increase premiums on average by 96%.

The president promised that the law would save families $2,500 in the coming years, but one insurer informed the committee that 45 states "will see significant premium increases."

The president promised that the law would make it easier for young adults to obtain health insurance, but some young adults may face premium increases as high as 400%.

The president promised the law would provide "tangible benefits" to help small businesses provide coverage. The insurance industry disagrees: Internal analysis provided to the committee show that small businesses purchasing coverage for their employees in the small group market can expect premium increases up to 50%.

Contrary to Democrats' insistence that small businesses will receive tax credits to offset the increase, one insurer explained, the "ACA's small group health tax credit incentive program is temporary and very small."

And if you work for a large employer you aren't safe either, because of ObamaCare's taxes and fees, even premiums in the large group market are expected to increase premiums as much as 25%.

Why will costs skyrocket under ObamaCare?

In order to sell an unpopular bill, the president stuffed the bill with "free" benefits. The law mandates Americans buy a government-approved plan that covers services they might not need. For example, ObamaCare supporters took time this Mother's Day to celebrate the law's requirement to provide everyone "free" birth control.

Yet, documents provided to the committee by one of the largest insurers in the U.S. unquestionably demonstrate that these "free" services are simply added to premiums.

So instead of allowing a 60-year-old male to buy the insurance he needs, he's forced to pay for "free" birth control.

ObamaCare taxes are another factor that will contribute to rising premiums. As one insurer explained, consumers may no longer be able to afford their primary insurance choice because of this tax inequity.

The law's reputation is so damaged even Democrats are now running from it. One of the law's chief architects said he saw a "train wreck" coming.

I have news for you: the train wreck is already here. The internal insurance company documents my committee uncovered this week demonstrate once and for all: ObamaCare will make health care coverage vastly more expensive for the majority of consumers.

Democrats have claimed Americans will be able to rely on tax credits and subsidies to help pay for their massively expansive ObamaCare coverage. Yet, one health insurer told us that the subsidies only would cover 40% of premiums: so after doubling your costs, Democrats are offering to help you pay for less than half of it. As President Reagan once said: The government doesn't solve problems, it subsidizes them.

This week the House will vote once again to repeal ObamaCare. Why are we doing this? Because as one insurer stated, "the bottom line is that (ObamaCare) does not contain many provisions that will reduce costs and improve affordability."

Unlike the Obama administration, we are working to keep our promises to the American people.

Blackburn, a Republican, represents Tennessee's 7th District in Congress.

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