U.S. Congressman Robert Hurt, R-Chatham, Virginia Sen. Steve Martin, R-Chesterfield County, and Del. John Cox, R-Ashland, held a conference call this morning to tout U.S. Senate candidate George Allen and push for repeal of the 2009 health care reform law, saying it would place unreasonable mandates on businesses and hurt job growth.
Hurt said he’s heard lots about the law during his travels around the 5th Congressional District.
“One of the huge sources of concern is the president’s health care law that was adopted by the previous Congress,” Hurt said. “Concern from people who want quality health care at an affordable price, concern from providers. But important as anything it’s frustrating for business folks who feel like they’re being punished and have to suffer not only the real consequences but also the uncertainty of where we go from here.”
Hurt said the House passed a measure to repeal the health care law, but it was not approved by the U.S. Senate. He said Allen “is the kind of person we need in Washington” to change that.
I asked about Tim Kaine’s defense of the law in Roanoke earlier this week, particular four provisions that have already gone into effect: The allowance for children to stay on their parents’ plan until age 26; a prohibition on insurance companies turning down patients for pre-existing conditions; tax credits for small businesses to buy insurance; and the expansion of credits to help seniors pay for prescriptions and to receive free preventative care.
Hurt said it’s important when talking about repeal of the health care law to also talk about what will replace it.
“I think there’s probably support in a replacement for health care reform, which is desperately needed,” Hurt said. But, he added, “The underlying principles for the replacement have got to be free-market principles.”
Hurt predicted the law as passed would drive doctors out of the business, creating diminished supply as demand increases. That will result in increased health care costs, he said.
“We have to talk about a replacement bill when we talk about repeal,” Hurt said. “The American people know that health care needs to be fixed. I think Gov. Allen knows and supports that.”
– Mason Adams