With every passing day, another one of President Obama's health care promises bites the dust. The more this $2.6 trillion health law is exposed for what it is -- a massive big government expansion into people's lives -- the more clear it is that we need to repeal two of the central pillars holding up ObamaCare: the job-killing employer mandate and the unconstitutional, federal individual mandate.
Our nation's economy is not recovering like the Administration promised. It remains perilously weak despite the White House's outlandish claims about the trillion dollar stimulus spending bill "saving or creating" millions of jobs. We've witnessed first-time claims for unemployment reach a nine-month high. Our unemployment rate is stuck at 9.5 percent. And home sales have dropped by a whopping 27 percent in just one month.
In fact, many businesses aren't willing to invest or hire new employees because they are taking it on the chin because of this Administration's agenda. That's one of the core reasons I fought the health law, because it's built upon spending money we don't have, raising taxes, and more government intrusion into people's lives -- hurting our recovery and our economy at the worst possible time.
In response, I crafted a straight-forward bill to repeal the employer mandate that will punish our job creators at a time when they need to start hiring again. In fact the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that employer mandates alone would slap over $50 billion in new taxes on businesses.
Last week, I announced that this legislation has garnered the support of four important groups representing our nation's job creators -- the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, National Association of Wholesalers, and the National Retail Federation.
In a letter to me supporting my legislation, the Chamber laid out why getting rid of this provision is so important: "Businesses with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees are hesitant to grow their businesses or hire what would amount to the 50th employee; under current law, the impending employer mandate would subject them to dangerous new requirements and penalties."
NFIB explained how it punishes struggling workers: "Employer mandates are blunt instruments that do not address the fundamental issues of our flawed health care system. Research has shown they are highly regressive and punish lower-margin firms and lower-wage workers. In difficult economic times, we depend on these types of firms to stabilize and expand, not increase their costs. They are the engines of growth and recovery and employer mandates throttle them."
If the employer mandate weren't enough, this administration chose to include an individual mandate requiring every American to purchase health insurance even if they don't want it. This is stretching the bounds of the Constitution to a place our Founders never intended. The bottom line is if the federal government can require you to do this, then what can't it force you to do?
After fighting this provision tooth and nail, I was pleased that my home state of Utah was in the original group of 13 states that filed the first lawsuit in Florida minutes after President Obama signed it into law. I introduced the American Liberty Restoration Act that also was endorsed by NFIB and NRF to get rid of this unparalleled expansion of federal power.
With a Democrat in the White House, a straight repeal of this legislative monstrosity would be extremely tough. The President would simply pull out his veto pen. What we need to do instead is work strategically to take down these two pillars propping up ObamaCare that threaten our economic future and our fundamental liberty. From there we need to enact real, market-based reforms that would expand access to lower cost health care.
We should start with common-sense step-by-step solutions that reduce health care costs and increase affordability, such as medical liability reform, allowing families to purchase insurance across stateliness and empowering small businesses to pool together like large corporations to negotiate better rates. Most importantly, we need to empower our states to become the laboratories of sustainable, real reform efforts, instead of pushing this one-size-fits-all Washington-dictated approach.