Western Virginia’s three congressman — Bob Goodlatte, Morgan Griffith, Robert Hurt, all Republicans — today all voted in favor of repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare.”
Here’s what each had to say about it:
From Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County:
Ever since President Obama was first elected and chose to push through a federal takeover of America’s health care system, House conservatives have led the charge to repeal the law commonly known as Obamacare and replace it with true reforms that will increase access and lower costs for consumers. With a string of broken promises from its authors and prominent backers, this law has already forced people off of the insurance they previously had, has increased premiums by thousands of dollars, and has reduced work hours for millions.
The fundamental question facing uninsured Americans was never, “how do we give the federal government more power over our lives?” Yet government control over health care was what the Democrat majority provided. House Republicans offered alternatives that gave our constituents the peace of mind to know that a safety net would be in place for the least fortunate amongst us, and provided commonsense reforms to allow those uninsured or underinsured to get the insurance they needed at an affordable price. Unfortunately, what we got was a law that, as former Speaker Pelosi famously stated, “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Well, we’ve read the bill, and the tens of thousands of pages of regulations to enforce it, and I can tell you the backlash and opposition to the law continues to mount.
One small example of the absurdity of this law is provided by a constituent of mine who lives in Virginia. This small business owner has chosen to insure his employees for the last forty years, helping his employees afford the insurance they need to keep their families healthy. Because of Obamacare, this company is required to spend more than $30,000 to reenroll their current employees. Let me repeat that. Even though these employees already have health insurance, the company is required to pay a fee for each and every one of them, to enroll the employee back into the exact same plan. That $30,000, which could have been used to hire new workers or grow the local economy, will now be sent to bureaucrats in Washington. Instead of health insurance for Main Street, this appears to be health insurance for K Street.
Today the House has a chance to stop growing the size of government, and to give power and freedom back to the American people. Instead of propping up health care exchanges, bureaucratic IPAB rationing panels, and mandates which cost Americans thousands of dollars each year, let’s start over and focus on the real needs of access to care and reduced costs of insurance. We can all admit that our health insurance system can use strengthening, but this is not the way to do it. If you are serious about reforming the health insurance system in this country, then join me in voting to repeal Obamacare and send a message to the American people that we have heard their anger and outrage over this law and we will do what it takes to see it repealed.
From Morgan Griffith, R-Salem:
“However you feel about the philosophy of Obamacare, what has become increasingly clear is that it was not built carefully enough to work. Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is infamous for having said that Congress had ‘to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it.’
“Well, they passed it. We now know what’s in it, and the American people don’t like it. So far, what the President promised hasn’t come true.
“President Obama promised in a speech before Congress that his health care proposal would not add to the national deficit, but the Government Accountability Office estimated that it will add to the long-term deficit by $6.2 trillion.
“The Administration promised that premium rates would go down, but the Energy and Commerce Committee released a report just this week revealing that consumers’ premiums could spike as high as 400 percent. In Virginia, the small group market is projected to increase by 31 percent.
“CLASS, the law’s long-term care program, was determined to be financially unsustainable and has been suspended.
“Furthermore, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is now soliciting funds for the law’s implementation from the very same companies and groups that her agency is responsible for overseeing, because they underestimated the cost of implementation.
“Even with a stack of regulations taller than I am, the Administration cannot tell the American people what will happen with their health insurance in January when Obamacare is fully implemented. Why? Because the Administration still has more decisions to make, and more regulations to promulgate.
“Senator Max Baucus, one of the law’s main architects, recently described Obamacare as ‘a huge train wreck coming down.’
“We have a chance to save Americans from being casualties of the train wreck. We can yank them off the tracks. Today, my vote shows that I am doing what I can to do just that.
“I call on the United States Senate to join us in rescuing the American people from the tracks of health care destruction.”
From Robert Hurt, R-Chatham:
“At a time when the American peoples’ trust in the federal government is at all-time lows, the last thing we need is another federal program that expands its size and scope and further threatens individual freedoms. Not only does the President’s health care law overtly extend the federal government into the lives of all Americans by increasing premiums, raising taxes, and requiring all Americans to purchase health care – but it does so inadvertently as well by harming our small business owners and families by forcing employers to choose between providing coverage for their workers or – in many cases – closing their doors. A federal government takeover is the wrong way to go about true health care reform and I stand by House initiatives to repeal this misguided law and replace it with patient-centered solutions that will improve access to care without putting our small business owners out of business and causing 5th District Virginians to lose their employer-based coverage or their jobs.”