It has been nearly four months since the Supreme Court ruled President Obama's healthcare law constitutional. Despite the justices' ruling, the President's healthcare mandate is taking a toll on our struggling economy. Over the last few years I have talked to numerous small business owners across our district who say the uncertainty created with the healthcare mandate is keeping them from hiring new employees.
Since the beginning, the only aspect of President Obama's healthcare law that has been bipartisan is the bipartisan opposition to the mandate. Since 2009, the House of Representatives have voted 29 times to repeal, defund or dismantle provisions of the law. Democrats and Republicans have joined together in the House to stop the President's healthcare law from hurting small businesses and families in Arkansas. Unfortunately, the Senate has not taken any action to stop government-run healthcare. Efforts will continue in the House until the law is fully repealed.
In February, a Gallup poll found almost half of small businesses said they are not hiring due to concerns about the possible rising healthcare costs and the threat of new regulations from the federal government. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce found further evidence that President Obama's healthcare law is stalling job creation in a survey of small businesses. Seventy-four percent of small businesses said the healthcare law makes it harder for them to hire new workers. Worse yet, 30 percent of the small businesses said they are not hiring at all as a result of the healthcare law.
Without a doubt, America's healthcare system needs reform. Healthcare needs to be affordable and accessible. Patients should be empowered and not overburdened with rules and financial penalties from Washington. We need smart reform that enacts medical liability reform, allows individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines, expands personal health savings accounts and ensures access for people with pre-existing conditions. We do not need a healthcare mandate from the federal government that creates a new entitlement program that will only grow in size and expense.
Regardless of the court's decision, it is clear government mandated healthcare has hurt Arkansas small businesses. As business owners and entrepreneurs are working to revitalize our economy and get people working again, Washington should replace the President's healthcare law with sensible reforms that make care more accessible and affordable for every American.