GOP Pressures for Health Reform Repeal with 1.6 Million Signatures
About a dozen Congressional Republicans gathered Wednesday morning to pressure Democrats to repeal the president’s health care law and to receive 1.6 million hand-signed petitions demanding that Congress overturn the law before it can be fully implemented.
Rep. Steve King, who has helped champion the effort to repeal the law and also to defund it, said he wakes up every day “to fight ‘ObamaCare’.”
“Health care cost more. We have fewer insured. Everything good that [President Obama] said it was going to do we got the inverse of the president’s promise on this,” King, R-Iowa, said. “What they really designed this to do was create a socialized medicine policy.”
Twenty-nine boxes filled with petitions containing 1.6 million signatures to repeal the Affordable Care Act were delivered to Capitol Hill this morning by Ken Hoagland, the chairman of Restore America’s Voice Foundation and repealitnow.org.
King said that the petitions serve as a reminder to members of Congress not to give up on their effort or wait for the courts to overturn the legislation, but rather to press forward and attempt to repeal the legislation until a like-minded Republican is in the White House.
“We need to do everything we can do within the job that we’ve been assigned here in the legislature, and then in the end the presidential candidates will be the ones that help us out the most. They’ve all been clear; they’re all for repeal of Obamacare,” King said. “We need to find a way to get it done, get it on the president’s desk. And some would say that the president wouldn’t sign that if it’s on his desk…Let’s just get it there and see.”
Sen. Jim DeMint, a leading conservatives associated with the tea party movement, admitted that there are genuine problems in the country’s health care system but he said that any solutions Republicans proposed when the law was being drafted “were summarily ignored by the president” as President Barack Obama forced the “socialization of medicine, the federal control of health care, that has proved all his promises false.”
“The medical profession has a motto that says, ‘first do no harm.’ That’s a motto we could use here in Washington. President Obama inherited some problems but he’s made them much, much worse with his policies,” DeMint, R-S.C., said. “He said it would help our economy and employment. It’s hurt our economy and employment. He said it would eventually reduce our deficit. The statistics show that it’s increasing our deficit. He said that it would lower the cost of health care. The data shows that over $2,000 per year every family is going to pay – just for starters – for this program.”
“It’s obvious the president has done harm to health care, to our economy and to the American people,” he added. “This is not a partisan issue, this is an American issue. We have got to stop this before it is implemented. We cannot wait for the Courts. It’s something we need to do for the American people here in Congress.”
Sen. Ron Johnson, a former businessman turned freshman lawmaker, contended that the bill “is going to be far more expensive than the advertized price.”
“What’s gonna happen is employers are going to have a very easy decision to make: Do I buy family coverage for about $15,000 or do I pay a $2,000 penalty and I wouldn’t be throwing my employees to the wolves. I would be making them eligible for huge subsides,” Johnson, R-Wis., said. “If you make $64,000 under this bill you’re eligible for a $10,000 subsidy. So who wouldn’t take that deal?”
Johnson said the law will end up costing taxpayers closer to $1 trillion a year rather than $93 billion.
“We simply can’t afford this law,” Johnson added. “I’m calling on my Democratic colleagues in the Senate to repeal this bill now before it causes great harm to health care system, to our federal budget and to the American economy.”
Rep. Joe Pitts, the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee, said he’s “spent all year finding out what is in this monstrous bill that was signed by President Obama” and blasted Democrats for jamming the law through Congress before members could closely study its details.
“This is legislative malpractice,” Pitts, R-Pa., said. “We found out that the law contains billions of dollars of slush funds, that the secretary [of Health and Human Services] has exclusive control over nearly $18 billion protected from Congressional oversight. We found out that the class program will spiral into insolvency soaking up billions in taxpayer bailout money, we found out that Pennsylvania and other states will see their Medicaid costs doubling in the coming years. We found out that the law will cost $1.5 trillion in its first 10 years, that’s’ $500 billion more than advertized, and you can’t keep your health care plan just because you like it. In fact, you’ll be lucky to keep or find a job as the law burdens businesses with billions of dollars in new costs and regulations. We found out what is in it, and we don’t like it.”