In 2010, President Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act, and asserted that "it will take four years to implement fully many of these reforms, because we need to implement them responsibly. We need to get this right". Far from getting it right, Obamacare has turned out to be the abysmal mess that so many warned it would be. Not only does it increase costs at a time when every dollar matters, but it has actually terminated American jobs.
The harsh economic reality of this big-government scheme will become even clearer and its immediate impact on growth more pronounced in 2014 when the employer mandate and penalties officially begin. Starting next year, President Obama's health care law will require businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to provide government-approved insurance or face a tax penalty. As health care costs continue to rise, the employer mandate is already forcing business owners to make difficult choices.
Before the darkening cloud of the health care law is fully upon us, I believe we must act to stop it. Obamacare needs to be replaced with real reforms that make health care more affordable and leave health care decisions up to patients and their doctors. Instead of Washington bureaucrats making our decisions, we need to empower individuals. We can make health insurers compete by allowing individuals to buy health care insurance across state lines, offer grants for states to set up high-risk insurance pools, allow tort reform, and help the uninsured population purchase health insurance by creating tax credits. I co-sponsored the Defund Obamacare Act, because we need effective reform that will reduce the cost of health care, improve access and foster an environment that keeps people in the workplace.
Unlike the President and his allies, I believe that we should take the time to consult with businesses and regular folks in the community. On April 30, I will be hosting a Congressional field hearing with my House colleague, U.S. Representative Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-01) at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in Concord to discuss these ideas and learn more about the health care challenges facing North Carolina's employers, workers, and families. This field hearing will provide an opportunity to hear testimonies from local business leaders, and I encourage you to attend the event at 9:00am on Tuesday.
Even before fully implemented, the Affordable Care Act has made our economy worse, driven up costs, and made it more difficult for small businesses to hire new workers. It is bad for our doctors, bad for our patients, bad for our economy, and toxic to our middle class. It is simply bad for America. The need for reform is undeniable, and so I remain committed to working for the truly affordable health care system that every American deserves.
I look forward to seeing you at the field hearing on Tuesday!
Member of Congress (NC-08)