Feb. 6, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Herger: Price Tag of Health Reform Law Too High

The enactment of ObamaCare comes with a price tag that Americans simply cannot afford — massive tax increases that will kill jobs and hurt American families, debt that threatens to crush future economic growth and burden our children with a bill they can’t pay, and a health care system in which Washington, not patients and doctors, is in charge of medical decisions.

This government takeover of health care and implementation of an unconstitutional mandate flies in the face of the principles that have made America great — individual freedom, competition and open markets. The damage is already being felt by small businesses and middle-class families. It’s not too late to reverse this. That’s why I introduced the Reform Americans Can Afford Act (H.R. 5424), which would immediately repeal ObamaCare’s premium increases, $500 billion in Medicare cuts that threaten coverage for seniors and failure to allow people to keep the insurance they have and like. These damaging provisions would be replaced with commonsense solutions that will lower health care costs without increasing the size of government or our skyrocketing debt.

President Barack Obama has acknowledged that our growing national debt is a threat to our future prosperity and that we need fiscal responsibility. Yet instead of using the health care reform debate as an opportunity to put our health care system on a fiscally sustainable path, the president took America in the opposite direction. He added a new entitlement program that is destined to pile on trillions in additional debt in the coming years.

So it’s no surprise that, over the last year, Obama and Congressional Democrats operated behind closed doors, made secret deals and used budget gimmicks to hide the true effect of their law. They made many promises to the American people that they knew they couldn’t keep, but none was more patently false than the claim their plan would bring down health care costs.

Under ObamaCare, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, millions of American families will see their health care costs go up by $2,100. From the beginning, the American people told us that the reform effort should focus on reducing health care costs. “Reform” that comes in the form of 2,700 pages of new government mandates, bureaucracies and tax hikes will only make matters worse.

It is dangerously irresponsible to inflict more than $500 billion in tax increases that will hurt families and small businesses and kill jobs at a time when unemployment is hovering around 10 percent and our economic outlook is tenuous at best. That’s part of the reason the National Federation of Independent Business has joined with 20 states in legal action to overturn ObamaCare. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the Democrats’ health care overhaul “will not increase coverage — rather it will lead to outsourcing, off-shoring ... reducing workforces, and reducing wages.” Despite the president’s comments about job creation being a top priority of his White House, ObamaCare is a job-killer, plain and simple.

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