Voters across the country sent a clear message to the President a few weeks ago. They opposed the growing role of the federal government in their lives, and that included President Obama's top legislative item -- the massive new health care law.
Already, employees at McDonald's, 3M, Caterpillar, Verizon, and AARP face higher premiums or fewer coverage options because of the law. Mississippi taxpayers will be strapped with an additional $297 million burden because of the Medicaid expansion. Costing more than $1 trillion and creating 159 new federal bureaucracies, Obamacare puts the country on the wrong path. I remain committed to repealing the health care law and replacing it with commonsense approaches that would lower the costs of care without creating another expensive entitlement program.
Chipping Away at the Massive Law
The reality is that the President can veto any repeal measure. A veto override requires 67 votes in the Senate -- a difficult goal to reach with Democrats controlling the Senate. In the meantime, my colleagues and I are looking at ways to stop the worst parts of this law from being implemented.
The IRS 1099 mandate in the health care law is a good example of a provision we can overturn immediately. Senate Democrats have blocked previous efforts to repeal this measure, which forces businesses to submit an IRS 1099 form anytime they purchase more than $600 worth of goods from another company. However, Senate Republicans are building more support to remove this mandate. Even President Obama called the added red tape "counterproductive" in a press conference following the election. Nearly 97 percent of employers in Mississippi are small businesses according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses. This unnecessary paperwork would further burden Mississippi small businesses at a time when we want them to grow and create jobs.
Limiting Funding of Obamacare
Two important responsibilities given to Congress under the Constitution are funding and oversight of the executive branch. Much of the health care law gives unelected bureaucrats the power to write the rules and regulations required to implement Obamacare. Congress can limit tax dollars from being used to fund this rulemaking process. For example, the IRS is expected to hire more than 16,000 new federal employees to enforce the individual insurance mandate. Congress should use its constitutional power to limit this funding and prevent the government from infringing even more into Americans' daily lives.
Fighting Mandates through the Judicial System
Efforts to reverse Obamacare are not just happening in Congress. Across the country, states are challenging the massive federal takeover in court because of the mandates on both states and individuals. Last week, I signed an amicus brief written by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell outlining the legal arguments against the health care law. Currently, 43 states have either joined lawsuits or taken other official action to stop its unconstitutional provisions.
Replacing Obamacare to Lower Costs
Americans want affordable, quality health care with the ability to make their own choices. I support repealing Obamacare completely and replacing it with legislation that actually lowers the cost of care for families and workers. Skyrocketing premiums and co-payments will limit access to doctors for too many Mississippians. Eliminating frivolous medical lawsuits, letting small businesses band together to provide health insurance for their employees, and allowing people to purchase insurance across state lines are some of the many ways we could save patients money and improve the quality of care.