The first few weeks of 2011 saw President Obama’s health care law attacked from all sides. In January, I proudly stood with my colleagues in the House and voted to repeal the health care law in its entirety.
Recently, the Senate was forced to cast an up or down vote on repeal, while a Florida Judge’s ruling struck down the law, calling it unconstitutional. Obamacare may end up in the Supreme Court, but until then, Congress should not sit on its hands and wait.
Chipping away at the worst parts of this law is a top priority of mine. As a nurse for over 40 years, I know the damage this law does to the quality of our health care system. But what needs just as much attention is how much debt the health care law racks up for our children and grandchildren.
According to the House Budget Committee, the health care law will cost the United States $2.6 trillion when fully implemented and add a whopping $701 billion to the federal deficit in the first decade—at a time when the government has already racked up over $14 trillion in debt. Back when he was trying to sell this bill, President Obama famously claimed that health care reform would not add a single dime to our national deficit—consider that claim debunked.
From where I sit, any attempt to cut spending should be done hand in hand with repealing Obamacare. I have already voted to roll spending back to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels. The House is leading by example, banning Congressional earmarks and cutting our own budget by five percent. Each week the new Majority will bring spending cuts to the floor for an up or down vote. But it is not enough. We need more spending cuts, and Obamacare clearly has to go.
Real reform is possible without massive government spending. We can deal with pre-existing conditions by creating high-risk pools and opening up markets. Allowing insurance purchases across state lines increases competition, lowers costs and won’t require millions of federal dollars. Medical malpractice reform would cut costs and reduce the expense of defensive medicine. These are all solutions I support and they would not bankrupt our nation.
Replacing Obamacare would help lower our debt and improve our economy. Today, employers are not hiring because of it, and businesses cannot grow thanks to new taxes and penalties. Families across the country are now facing higher premiums, and the Medicare programs many of our seniors rely upon will be gutted for the sake of paying for this open-ended entitlement.
I came to Congress to stop the government from borrowing against future generations. I am committed to getting America out of the red — by cutting spending, reducing our deficit, and dismantling this costly health care law. Every day I am in Congress, I will work to stop Washington from spending your money and putting all of us further into debt.