By Lisa Barron and Kathleen Walter
President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law could have a "devastating" impact on the job market and economic growth, Republican Rep. Chris Collins tells Newsmax.
In an interview at the Job Creators Alliance "Free Enterprise Leadership Summit" in Florida, where Collins was the only member of Congress speaking, he told Newsmax TV the Affordable Care Act is "devastating to small businesses who are trying to plan for the future."
Once they reach 50 employees, he explained, "they're subject to providing health insurance or being subject to this tax or penalties, you may want to call it, and so right now small businesses aren't creating jobs, and it's hurting the economy."
In addition, said Collins, the medical device tax is "wiping out 50 percent of the profits of a lot of companies," adding, "it means their stock price is going to drop in half if they don't do anything, since stock prices are directly linked to profits." What they are doing, he said, is cutting research and development budgets and reducing their expenses "so they don't have this huge impact on the bottom line, and that's all going to hurt the economy."
Collins, who represents a district around Buffalo, N.Y., is chairman of the House's Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology.
Although the GOP has so far not succeeded in repealing Obamacare, Collins suggested there are other steps the party can take. One of the things he will propose, said Collins, is to "redefine the size of a business that would be subject to Obamacare," making it 250 rather than 50 employees. He would also like to see the medical device tax limited to 10 percent of a company's profits.
"Our message to the American public is, if we want a bright future for our children and grandchildren, here are some things we're going to have to do," said Collins, "and if we don't do them today, Obamacare is going to be a wet blanket on the economy."
Collins continued, "Let's hope in three-and-a-half years we can repeal it because if we don't, I don't think we'll ever have a balanced budget and the public is going to see the devastation of this," vowing, "we're going to keep talking about it for the next three-and-a-half years."
He also had harsh words for the 2014 budget unveiled by the White House on Wednesday.
Obama "just wants more revenue, that means higher taxes, and that's a fundamental difference," he said. "We on the Republican side say, and the American public agrees, we have a spending problem. We spend too much in Washington."
Asked if House Republicans might cave on taxes, Collins insisted there is "no chance whatsoever," saying, "The president got his taxes, $800 billion in taxes last year in the fiscal cliff negotiation.
"There's zero chance that we would cave on taxes."