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Mr. COLLINS of New York. Mr. Speaker, the American public is often concerned there is not enough agreement in the Halls of Congress. Well, I am pleased to report there is growing agreement among both parties and in both Houses of this Congress that ObamaCare is truly a train wreck, as recently described by Democrat Senator Max Baucus. As this massive piece of legislation is being implemented, the negative impact it is and will have on our economy is becoming clear:
ObamaCare guts the funding for Medicare Advantage to help cover its growing price tag. So, for all those seniors out there, like my 86-year-old mom, who are happy with the coverage they receive through Medicare Advantage, I have news for you: you can't keep your existing plan, as promised, because ObamaCare effectively ends it.
What the administration could not raid from other sources to pay for ObamaCare it makes up in new taxes. Just last week, as chairman of the Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology, I heard from small business owners and advocates about the impact the health insurance tax will have on the bottom line of America's small businesses. The amount of that tax will be $8 billion in 2014, increasing to $14.3 billion in 2018, and will increase based on premium trends thereafter.
Supporters of ObamaCare will say these fees are supposed to be paid by the health insurance companies; but common sense, substantiated by independent studies, tells you the insurance companies are passing these costs directly on to consumers in the form of higher premiums. To avoid the taxes and fees, companies are cutting jobs, not hiring, and are reducing employee hours to stay under ObamaCare thresholds, all this at a time when national unemployment remains embarrassingly high.
ObamaCare is built on the premise that the young and the healthy will pay to insure the old and the sick. Well, guess what? The young and the healthy are too smart to have their pockets picked. Knowing they can't be denied coverage down the road, the young and the healthy are going to drop out of the insurance market and instead pay the $95 penalty and their out-of-pocket medical expenses. They know this approach will be far, far cheaper in the end than paying thousands of dollars for an individual or a family plan under ObamaCare. It's like not buying collision insurance on your new car because you know you can get it after you've been in a wreck.
When attempting to defend ObamaCare, its supporters like to tout all those ``free'' things that ObamaCare offers the American people. That sales pitch crystallizes what is wrong with ObamaCare and the tax-and-spend policies this town is famous for. Nothing is free in this world. For every free service ObamaCare offers, someone out there in America is paying for it with his hard-earned money; or, worse yet, we'll just add a few more bucks onto our staggering debt to cover this so-called ``free'' service.
This country can't afford ObamaCare figuratively or literally. ObamaCare must be repealed. It needs to be replaced with commonsense, cost-effective ways to improve health care in this country.
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