During his post-election press conference Wednesday, President Barack Obama was asked: “As you’re well aware, obviously, a lot of Republicans ran against your health care law. Some have called for repealing the law. I’m wondering, sir, if you believe that health care reform that you worked so hard on is in danger at this point, and whether there’s a threat, as a result of this election.” The President replied:
Well, I know that there’s some Republican candidates who won last night who feel very strongly about it. I’m sure that this will be an issue that comes up in discussions with the Republican leadership. As I said before, though, I think we’d be misreading the election if we thought that the American people want to see us for the next two years relitigate arguments that we had over the last two years.
The President just doesn’t get it. According to the national exit poll just 16% of voters want to leave Obamacare as is. A full 48% of voters want to see it outright repealed and another 31% want to see it changed in some way. Americans do want to relitigate Obamacare. Yesterday, here at The Heritage Foundation, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to do just that:
On health care, that means we can — and should — propose and vote on straight repeal, repeatedly. But we can’t expect the president to sign it. So we’ll also have to work, in the House, on denying funds for implementation, and, in the Senate, on votes against its most egregious provisions. At the same time, we’ll need to continue educating the public about the ill-effects of this bill on individuals young and old, families, and small businesses.
News today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics only reinforces the case that Obamacare must be repealed if our economy is going to recover. The October jobs report shows that the nation’s unemployment rate remains unchanged at an unacceptably high 9.6%. Obamacare is a tremendous drag on job creation. Businesses suffer higher costs under Obamacare. They are struggling to meet disruptive employer mandates; accommodate new taxes on insurance, drugs, medical devices and investment; and comply with piles of Federal agency regulations and IRS paperwork. These costs will be either passed on to customers or to employees who will face lower wages or lost jobs. Congress must Get to Work immediately on this issue. Specifically, they should:
- Repeal Obamacare: Congress must immediately pass a law repealing Obamacare.
- Withhold Funding, Block Provisions and Regulations: Until Obamacare is repealed, Congress should withhold funding, block key provisions, and override regulations carrying out Obamacare.
- Proceed Carefully Towards Market-Based Reform: After Congress repeals Obamacare, it should give thoughtful consideration to practical adjustments to permit the free market to furnish Americans with affordable, effective health care insurance choices.
- Promote Personal Control: Congress should promote personal control of health coverage and costs through the free market, where individuals have the opportunity to make market decisions based on price and value. For example, Congress should redirect health care spending under the Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to help low-income families and individuals purchase private health insurance.
- Enable Portability: Congress also should enact a law that facilitates Federal and State activities to increase the portability of private health insurance coverage.
Yesterday, Sen. McConnell was realistic about what conservatives can really accomplish in just the next Congress:
We may not be able to bring about straight repeal in the next two years, and we may not win every vote against targeted provisions, even though we should have bipartisan support for some. But we can compel administration officials to attempt to defend this indefensible health spending bill and other costly, government-driven measures, like the stimulus and financial reform. We also need groups like Heritage to continue studying the ill-effects of the health care bill, and to show how its implementation is hurting families, seniors, and small businesses, limiting choices and making us less competitive.
The Heritage Foundation will do just that. And we will also help keep Congress honest on other issues as well. That is why The Heritage Foundation has created the Solutions for America: Get to Work checklist. Repealing Obamacare is just one of five tasks Congress must complete – as the BARE MINIMUM REQUIRED – to fulfill its electoral mandate. You can download and print all of the “Get to Work” fact sheets and checklist, here.
- In a letter to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed that Obamacare will increase drug prices.
- In an e-mail to employees, AARP admitted health care premiums will increase by 8 percent to 13 percent next year because of Obamacare.
- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may cost taxpayers as much as $685 billion Standard & Poor’s said Thursday.
- Newly elected governors in at least 11 states are are planning to blunt key parts of Obamacare.
- You can listen to Heritage experts James Carafano, Brian Riedl, Curtis Dubay, David Azerrad and Nina Owcharenko discuss Heritage’s new Checklist for the incoming Congress, here.