Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, responding to overwhelming public outcry has cosponsored H.R. 4972 which would repeal the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," and H.R. 5424 which would repeal the bill and replace it with the Republican alternative that he supported when the health care bill passed in the House. Rehberg has consistently stated that, while health care reform is absolutely necessary, doing the wrong thing would only make things worse.
"Since most of the provisions in this bill don't even kick in until years from now, we've still got time to fix health care with common-sense solutions," said Rehberg, a member of the Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee. "The bill we've got now is so bad, even its supporters are holding their noses, promising it's just a first step toward some future reform that allegedly would lower costs and increase access. Well, it's a trillion dollar step in the wrong direction and one we can correct right now."
Public Outcry Against Obamacare
Last month, Rehberg emailed Montanans a survey asking them if they thought Obamacare would lower health care costs. Of the thousands who responded, a stunning 83 percent said this legislation won't lower costs, while only 11 percent thought that it would. Equally telling, when asked if the end-cost of Obamacare for the taxpayer would be more or less than advertised, 83 percent said the law would be "much more expensive than advertised."
This negative sentiment reflects what Rehberg heard directly from Montanans at 44 public listening sessions he held across Montana before the health care vote. It's this public outcry, including the strong opposition he heard in thousands of letters, faxes, emails and phone calls that Rehberg has credited for his vote against Obamacare.
Bad Policy of Obamacare
The first Obamacare Tax (10% tax on tanning businesses) kicks in today, and already the only part of the bill that's been implemented -- a temporary bridge for a federal high-risk pool -- is running as much as 200% over budget according to the latest CBO estimates. Meanwhile, the most important parts of the bill won't kick in for years -- leaving us a decade of payments for a few years of benefits. The effort to repeal Obamacare is not opposition to every provision contained in the bill, but an attempt to bring lawmakers back to the table to pass legislation that works for Americans, not just a few special interest groups. Rehberg remains committed to true health care reform that will lower costs and increase access for Montanans.
"The problem is that this bill doesn't do anything to address the root of the problem, which is skyrocketing costs and declining access," said Rehberg. "The alternative I voted for included true cost savings measures. Real lawsuit reform that would help end the wasteful practice of defensive medicine. Allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines, giving patients more options and lower costs. Letting small businesses and associations pool their health care just like the mega-corporations and the government do now. Instead, all this bill does is shift the rising cost from the suffering patient to the suffering taxpayer."
Negative Economic Impacts of Obamacare
While failing to address the health care crisis in any meaningful way, Obamacare creates onerous burdens for small businesses around the country -- costing jobs. On top of complex formulas to determine health care requirements and taxes, the legislation actually creates an incentive to reduce the number of employees on the payroll and cut the number of hours for those who survive the Obamacare purge.
"Small businesses wanted healthcare reform that would lower costs, increase competition and provide more choices for quality, private health insurance," said Riley Johnson, State Director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. "Instead, the new healthcare law taxes the very plans that small businesses buy and is so loaded down with new fees and mandates that small business owners are finding themselves forced to choose between hiring a new worker or offering healthcare to their employees. This is the exact opposite of what our entrepreneurs need or can afford, and certainly won't help create the jobs we need to move this country out of this recession."