As the 112th Congress begins, the new majority in the House of Representatives has already unveiled plans to repeal Obamacare and start over with health care reform. Obamacare moves the United States health care system in the wrong direction, and to get reform right, Congress should start by repealing this onerous piece of legislation. Using a transparent process, the House will vote next Wednesday on a measure to achieve this.
The negative effects of Obamacare will be felt by all Americans. The new law includes several new taxes and penalties for businesses that threaten to kill job growth and further damage the economy. Budget gimmicks and double counting of savings mean Obamacare will increase federal deficit spending significantly.
Obamacare does nothing to reform the systemic problems and unfunded liabilities represented by Medicare and Medicaid. Instead, the new law uses savings in Medicare to fund a new entitlement that experts expect to greatly exceed its projected cost. Obamacare does not fix Medicaid, which already performs poorly, but adds more to its ranks as a means to reduce the uninsured.
Obamacare increases premiums and overall health spending in the U.S. Instead of allowing insured Americans to keep their current coverage, the new law will cause millions to change or lose their health plans. Last but not least, Obamacare will increase federal control of every aspect of the health sector, increasing the role of bureaucracy in the practice of medicine and interfering in the doctor–patient relationship.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. For these reasons and more, the new Congress should repeal Obamacare.
But the new House majority will not stop there. The new Members of Congress will also consider a resolution to guide the process of achieving real health care reform. This piece of legislation calls for four House committees to offer legislative proposals that use market-based solutions to increase access, affordability, and quality of health coverage for all while also strengthening the economy.
Heritage health policy expert Nina Owcharenko writes, “After repeal of [Obamacare], Congress should pursue targeted policy solutions that address practical problems faced by millions of Americans in a step-by-step and fully transparent legislative process. This would move the health care system in the right direction.” It looks like the new Congress is off to a good start.