Opinion Columns & Blogs

Rep. Mike Pompeo: Problems with health care law plain to see

Today marks Obamacare’s second anniversary. Now that Kansans have had two full years to learn what is in it, the problems with this law are plain to see.

Obamacare will force millions to lose their existing health care plans, will cost almost double what the president promised, and will not reduce health insurance costs.

The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation and Congressional Budget Office just released an updated analysis finding that millions of Americans will lose their existing health plans under Obamacare. Despite President Obama’s explicit and often repeated promise that people who like their existing health care plans can keep them, the study estimates that 4 million Americans will lose coverage in 2016 when their employers opt not to provide health care rather than provide expensive, one-size-fits-all Obamacare coverage.

Many other Americans who liked their existing health care plans will also lose them, because religious employers will not surrender their beliefs to the government. Our Founding Fathers protected free exercise of religion in the First Amendment, but the president has decided to force certain employers to violate their religious precepts in order to offer health care plans he approves.

The study also shows that the first decade of Obamacare will cost almost double what President Obama promised. Rather than the $940 billion forecast, current estimates suggest it will cost a staggering $1.76 trillion. This enormous new price tag is no surprise to Republicans in Congress. Democrats stuffed the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” with accounting gimmicks to hide its true cost from the public. Now this sham accounting has been revealed.

Nor has health insurance gotten cheaper since Obamacare passed. In fact, premiums have gone up 16.8 percent the past two years, and the percentage of small businesses offering health benefits to employees dropped from 69 percent to 60 percent last year.

Obamacare was also supposed to prevent people from losing health insurance when losing a job. Instead, it has caused them to have neither. The gigantic weight Obamacare placed on the economy (along with the uncertainty its regulations have caused) has slowed the recovery significantly. Along with the president’s other failed economic policies, Obamacare has resulted in a weaker economy, lower wages and fewer jobs. No wonder half of Americans want to repeal it.

My first vote as a congressman in January 2011 was to repeal Obamacare. Since then, my colleagues and I have worked to dismantle Obamacare piece by piece in order to eliminate unnecessary burdens on business owners. We voted to repeal the onerous 1099 reporting requirements for small businesses, the CLASS Act (an insurance program that even Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has admitted is not economically feasible), and the Independent Payments Advisory Board, which set up an unelected board of 15 so-called experts to ration health care.

While at home last week I visited several high schools, senior centers and businesses. Many Kansans shared with me their concerns over Obamacare, the unsustainable national debt (which Obamacare will worsen), the future of Medicare and Medicaid (whose funding Obamacare cut by $500 billion), and the lack of jobs. I truly believe that lifting the burden of Obamacare from America’s small businesses is key to achieving a full economic recovery, and I pledge that I will keep trying to get rid of it until it is gone.