House Passes 2015 Version of Obamacare Repeal; Press Releases Ensue

The U.S. House passed yet another bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The bill passed, 239-186 on a straight party line vote, with five Democrats and three Republicans not voting. I know this because there are a slew of press releases in my inbox from Congressmen making statements about their vote.

My guess is that the bill will be filibustered in the Senate, but even if it passes there, President Obama has issued a veto threat. Perhaps with this bit of Kabuki theater out of the way, we can move on to bills that have a chance of becoming law.

Press releases below the fold.

Buddy Carter, First District

Today, I voted to repeal the health care law that is destroying the healthcare system that I proudly worked in for thirty years,” Carter said. “As a small business owner and healthcare professional, I have seen firsthand that many Georgians can no longer afford the astronomical costs of healthcare and they are forced to skip visits to the doctor, put off medical procedures and avoid filling prescriptions. No one should be burdened with the choice of whether they can or cannot receive medical care because of a misguided law that continues to kill jobs and our economy. Obamacare is driving the free market out of healthcare and preventing patients from having a say in their health – I refuse to let that happen.”

In addition to fully repealing Obamacare, the legislation would require Congress to create replacement legislation within 180 days of enactment.

“While I am pleased to support a full repeal, we can’t stop there,” Carter said. “American families deserve better than Obamacare and this legislation will allow Congress to create solutions to repair our broken healthcare system and empower patients with more choices, lower costs and better services.

Lynn Westmoreland, Third District

We knew ObamaCare was bad, but the botched ObamaCare rollout in 2013 showed the American people how truly bad this government takeover actually is,” stated Westmoreland. “Premiums and healthcare device costs have doubled while many are still trying to make ends meet. Employers have been burdened with costs and are cutting back hours of part-time employees to save where they can, resulting in 2.5 million hard working Americans being cut from full-time status. As we approach the tax season, we are also seeing how ObamaCare is digging into our tax returns and costing households even more. In fact, there have been $47 billion in IRS fines under the individual mandate and $1 trillion in new taxes. ObamaCare takes away from the patients and gives far too much power to the IRS.

This ObamaCare repeal vote is more than a symbolic one, it’s a plea from the American people to scrap this trainwreck law and start over. ObamaCare was horribly written when it was passed, and it continues to get worse the more it’s implemented. The American people don’t want the government involved in their healthcare, and I will continue to vote to dismantle and repeal ObamaCare every opportunity I get.

Tom Price, Sixth District

We need health care reform that makes the system more responsive to patients, families and doctors – reforms that preserve and protect the doctor-patient relationship. Right now, Obamacare is moving our health care system in the exact opposite direction where the American people are paying more and getting less. While they may choose to ignore it, the president and his administration ought to know that the law is not working as they said it would, as they promised the American people. Circumventing Congress and making unilateral changes for their political convenience, as the Obama Administration has done on multiple occasions, is not a solution. In the House of Representatives, we are saying we need to get rid of this law that’s not working and focus on solutions that will embrace the principles of affordability, accessibility, quality, innovation, choices, and responsiveness. None of those principles are evident in Obamacare and they are vital to having a health care system that works for patients.

Rob Woodall, Seventh District

Today, I voted to fully repeal Obamacare, and set in motion a targeted approach to solve the problems created by a law that has regrettably been anything but affordable for American families and taxpayers,” said Woodall. “From the time it was first jammed through on an entirely party-line vote, Obamacare has been a source of great conflict among the American people, and has broken the very promises on which it was based. For the millions of Americans unable to keep their doctor or the plan they had, and unable to afford an alternative, the problem has only expanded.”

The American people want practical solutions to these problems, and Republicans in the House are working hard to offer principled solutions, just as we did last Congress with the American Health Care Reform Act, and much more.

Jody Hice, 10th District

Today, I was thrilled to join my colleagues in supporting H.R. 596 to do away with the President’s healthcare law. Obamacare was originally offered under the pretense that we could keep our healthcare plans and doctors, and we now know that as many as five million Americans received insurance cancellation notices for 2014.

Additionally, there are as many as 2.5 million less people identified as full-time workers. President Obama bulldozed this legislation into being, and the American people have paid dearly for this law. When it comes to Obamacare, the numbers don’t lie and I am proud to support legislation that will repeal the prospective $1 trillion dollars in new taxes that Obamacare will create if left unchecked.

Barry Loudermilk, 11th District

Georgia businesses and families deserve quality, patient-centered health care that does not break the bank. Under Obamacare, health insurance premiums have nearly doubled, leaving Georgians with less disposable income and limited ability to choose the insurance plan that best suits their needs.

Today’s vote signals a strong departure from business-as-usual and builds a solid foundation for restoring free-market solutions and lowering the cost of health care in America.

The people of this great nation entrusted us to take decisive action against the president’s failed policies, and I strongly urge my colleagues in the Senate to take swift action on repealing Obamacare once and for all.

Rick Allen, 12th District

From skyrocketing premiums to canceled health plans and lost access to their doctors, Georgians across the 12th district have felt the devastating effects of ObamaCare. Its burdens on small businesses continue to destroy jobs and have cut the hours and paychecks of millions of hardworking Americans. Simply put, ObamaCare is an unworkable law that is wrong for Americans and disastrous for our economy. I’m proud to act on behalf of my constituents who overwhelmingly oppose this law by supporting its full repeal. Importantly, the legislation passed by the House today allows Congress the opportunity to work on commonsense, patient-centered solutions to improve our health care system. We need reforms that truly lower the cost of care while enhancing competition and putting the American people back in charge of their health care decisions.”

Tom Graves, 14th District

We need real health care reform that puts patients first and expands choice, not Obamacare’s top-down mandates that have resulted in higher premiums, limited choice and the cancellation of millions of health care plans. By repealing Obamacare in its entirety, we can start fresh on health care reform without the constraints of the unworkable and unfixable disaster that is Obamacare. House Republicans are developing patient-centered solutions, which preserve personal freedom, expand choice, and allow people to keep the doctor and health insurance plan they like and trust.

26 comments

  1. Harry says:

    Shakespeare said life is theater and everything you post is either a comedy or a tragedy. The GOP is keeping untenable Obamacare in the voters’ spotlight so as to be reminded that the unreal stickershock which they are experiencing will, hopefully, have a favorable resolution in a couple of years. So call it theater if Obama dictates, but there is a purpose.

  2. xdog says:

    That’s bs Harry. The vote is to give the new reps some chest-thumping material to use on the locals, nothing more.

  3. saltycracker says:

    This has to be some kind of posturing as Obamacare won’t be repealed. What can be accomplished is fixing it but there are no signs anywhere that something rational is in the works.

    The closest article I’ve read that comes close to a plausible compromise is Avik Roy’s Manhattan Institute report “transcending obamacare” linked below.

    The remarks on Switzerland’s plan are particularly interesting.

    http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/mpr_17.htm#.VNGAJ9Ao7mw

    • Harry says:

      Nothing will happen until 2017 at the earliest. Same story with immigration reform, Transportation Empowerment Act, etc. But the GOP has to keep the heat on and in the public focus.

      • Rick Day says:

        But the GOP has to keep the heat on and in the public focus.

        Why? Don’t you agree that Congress has already wasted enough time on this issue?

        Sometimes I fantasise you would get your wishes; the return of illegal abortions and the total repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Dismantle all systems of government except for war making, both domestic and abroad. Bring back slavery through ‘debtor prisons’. Can you live with that world, Harry? Does it make you excited? How about a constitutional amendment that only allows white male christians to run for public office? Maybe we can get you your own negro servant, Harry! Somebody get this man a towel! What a world..what a world..

        Then we watch your base sink into political oblivion and in 2-3 cycles take it all back. You and yours will long be in assisted living, having gorged on your temporary victory.

        Take your heat somewhere else. We have a country to grow.

        • Noway says:

          Rick, you got all of that drivel you just spewed from Harry’s one-sentence comment? You need to take YOUR anger somewhere else.

    • John Konop says:

      The problem I have with this plan, Obamcare, and the GOP idea….all of it avoids the nasty details of how we contain cost in a realalitic manner and raise revenue. No one wants to make the hard decions…all of it is very macro…in any plan the devil is in the detail….the moment we get into real cost cutting needs….both sides start throwing out killing grandma and or death penalties….as I posted numerous time the current people getting Medicare have not paid nearly enough…it is bizarre that we have a system funded by workers…..yet we have an explosion of baby boom generation retiring…which is why it needs to be funded by a VAT, with payroll taxes and Medicare tax eliminated as well….

      • Harry says:

        The main healthcare policy issue is cost containment. Under Obamacare the US economy is or will be spending 22%+ of GDP for healthcare. On average in comparable developed countries it is 13%. The burden is inequitably distributed among US socioeconomic classes. It’s very harsh for a middle class family to budget over $1K per month for 6K- or 10K-deductible mandated health insurance.

        • John Konop says:

          I agree with cost containment issues and made the point numerous times…..we also have an issue that people are not paying nearly enough for Medicare….and we have a demographic nightmare….via it being funded by workers….and a massive group of baby boomers retiring…a VAT is the only real fix…..also helps medicade as well….ie it being a consumption tax….verse it being only thrust on people working….it will also have tourist from other countries, people doing business here and black market money used to help fill the gap….finally ending payroll taxes and Medicare tax would be a major stimulus for the economy…..which would also drive consumption….which would help create more revenue…

      • saltycracker says:

        When LBJ brought us Medicare 65% of folks had insurance and the govt took it over to insure folks that did not, did not choose or could not would be insured. Those folks never paid then and don’t pay enough now. Corporations and insurance companies could do little but get out of the way. The program has expanded many, many times, is a fraud and administration nightmare.

        You cannot rewind this busted clock, it was a mess from the get go. The savings are probably as Avik Roy described it well be cheaper for the feds to set the rules and buy insurance.

  4. Andrew C. Pope says:

    “Red meat here! Get yer fresh red meat!”

    So happy to see that the House is still wasting our time with show votes and not, you know, actually providing a substantive alternative. The continued railing against Obamacare isn’t doing them much good among younger voters, like myself, who are pretty pleased that we were able to stay on our parents’ plans for longer and can get insanely cheap insurance thanks to the tax credits.

    I’m curious what happens to the whole debate surrounding ACA after King v. Burwell.

    If SCOTUS strikes down the tax credits, I imagine people currently getting tax credits and living in the (mostly Republican) states without exchanges and are going to be royally pissed at the new price of their healthcare. For example, I have a silver plan that is roughly $45 a month with the tax credit. Without the tax credit, that figure jumps to over $400. Will that inevitable vitriol be directed at the Obama administration, the ones who wanted tax credits for everyone? Or, will voters have it out for local Republicans who refused to set up state exchanges and prevented them from taking part in the tax credits?

    If SCOTUS upholds the tax credits, then the GOP will have grasped every last straw in its attempt to undermine the ACA through the courts. The lack of legal avenues puts the onus on Congressional Republicans to cut the legs out from under the ACA. But Obama’s firm veto threat and the fact that the GOP doesn’t have a veto-proof majority make that a non-starter. Assuming the GOP takes control of the White House in 2016, the ACA will have been around 6 years at that point. People will be going into their 4th year of buying insurance through the state or federal exchange. As a result, I think attitudes may shift considerably by 2016. Even now I’m noticing that more people are shifting from “Obamacare is a bad idea” to “I mean it’s not great, but I guess its alright.” By 2016/7, the GOP may no longer be able to count on there being some fervent “repeal or else” sentiment which would give them cover from the CBO-estimated $109 billion increase in budget deficits that would be caused by a repeal.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      “actually providing a substantive alternative.”

      Tom Price’s proposal is the GOP’s leading substantive alternative / fix for Obamacare. Nary a mention of it Price’s remarks. That’s real pride of ownership.

      • Chamblee says:

        Tom Price has a plan? I’ve seen him speak twice and all he says is ObamaCarae Bad, Trust me, I’m a doctor.

    • saltycracker says:

      It’s always an insanely good idea when it’s other people’s money or the public can borrow trillions on the cheap to worry about a decade or so from now. There is no free lunch.

  5. Dave Bearse says:

    Kabuki theater out of the way?

    After 40+ repeals prior to this session, the odds appear to be against it.

  6. northside101 says:

    The “inevitable vitrol” ought to be aimed at the one person responsible for Obamacare—John Roberts—who used some “creative methodology” to find a justification for it. A mere one vote—5 to 4 margin. (Another example of “wobbly” GOP appointees to the US Supreme Court, while the Democratic-appointed ones are almost always reliably liberal.) Thanks to John Roberts, the IRS now has snooping power to ask whether we have health insurance—or should I say, the right kind and amount of health insurance. When one’s appropriate answer to the IRS on that question should be “none of your business.” Or blame could go to the second President Bush, whose politically disastrous presidency paved the way for Obama…and of course you know the rest of the story…

  7. Rick Day says:

    Gentlemen, after interaction with my congresscritter, I am firmly convinced that man is mentally retarded. He can’t even make the Haterade Parade of Press Releases. Probably out jousting “The ‘Ds'” or other such demons with windmill wings. I swear this guy has a fatal attraction/mancrush on anything liberal.

  8. Obamacare plans cost consumers about the same as what similar coverage costs large companies. Of course large companies write off the cost at 35% charged to the rest of us, but if Republicans think Obamacare is unpopular, wait until they try taxing healthcare benefits.

    • Harry says:

      It must be interesting for those who don’t enjoy such qualified plans and who receive no subsidies to be paying for expensive health insurance out of after-tax dollars, knowing that employees of big corps, unions and government are paying with before-tax dollars or zilch. I bet political Obama will not correct the inequity for as long as he is president, and rather continue delaying and deferring this shock that would negatively impact his protected classes.

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