WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today urged President Obama to permanently delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in recognition of the effects the contentious healthcare reform law will have on American families and workers who will face higher taxes and higher premiums.
The Mississippi Senators were part of a united Republican Senate conference that signed a letter to the President that outlines the reasons why the defective law should be suspended for good. The Obama administration last week unilaterally announced that it would delay the ACA’s employer mandate provisions for at least a year. The Senators argue in their letter that the same relief should now be permanently offered to individuals and families.
“I believe the entirety of President’s failed health-care law should be permanently delayed,” Wicker said. “The Administration’s decision to postpone the implementation of the law’s employer-mandate provision proves what the majority of Americans have known for quite some time: The law is unworkable, unaffordable, and unproductive. With so many disappointments, it is increasingly clear this bad policy must go.”
“Many red flags are being raised about the Affordable Care Act by both businesses and individuals, and it is my hope that the administration will consider this serious proposal. The healthcare reform law has been flawed from the start. As implementation of the law’s most burdensome mandates draws closer, it is clear that it is not the cure-all promised by the President,” Cochran said.
The correspondence, organized by Senate Republican Conference Chairman Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), addresses the higher taxes and insurance premium costs facing American families under the ACA. It also highlights growing public opposition to the law, which was forced through Congress and enacted in 2010 without a single Republican vote.
“Given the widely-held belief by the American people that the Affordable Care Act will not fulfill its promises and will result in higher costs for American families, we implore you to listen to the American people. This law is unworkable and harmful to the economy and to American families, and your actions to delay the employer mandate are an acknowledgement of this fact. While your recent action provides temporary relief for some, we believe that all Americans deserve permanent relief from this onerous law, so that we can adopt common-sense reforms that will actually lower costs and that Americans support,” the Senators wrote the President.
Since its enactment, Cochran and Wicker have consistently supported legislation to repeal the healthcare reform law, known to some as Obamacare.
The following is the text of the letter signed by all 45 Republican members of the Senate (http://1.usa.gov/1aZPPTe):
July 10, 2013
Dear President Obama:
We write to express concern that in your recent decision to delay implementation of the employer mandate, you have unilaterally acted and failed to work with Congress on such a significant decision. Further, while your action finally acknowledges some of the many burdens this law will place on job creators, we believe the rest of this law should be permanently delayed for everyone in order to avoid significant economic harm to American families.
In response to questions about the administration’s decision, your senior advisor Valerie Jarrett said, “We are listening,” while referring to the concerns of the business community over the onerous employer mandate that will result in fewer jobs and employees working fewer hours. We have been listening as well, and as more employers have attempted to understand your burdensome requirements in the Affordable Care Act, the louder their outrage has become.
We are also listening to the views of the American people. A recent Gallup poll from June of 2013 showed that a majority of Americans disapprove of the Affordable Care Act. The same survey revealed that for every one person who believes they will be better off under the Affordable Care Act, two believe they will be worse off. Opposition to your health law is growing, and it will continue to grow as more Americans realize that the law is built upon broken promises and will result in higher health care costs and more taxes.
Under the individual mandate, the IRS, which is still under multiple investigations for unfairly targeting conservative groups, will play a central role in the implementation of the health care law in our country. Last fall, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that nearly six million Americans, primarily in the middle class, will have to pay a tax under the individual mandate, which was two million more than previously estimated. When the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, the average individual mandate tax will be nearly $1,200, which clearly contradicts your previous statement that the individual mandate “is absolutely not a tax increase.”
Further, families are facing significant increases in premiums. Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an analysis of premiums and concluded that under your law some Americans will see their premiums “double or even triple,” which is the opposite of your promise that premiums will go down by $2,500 for American families.
Given the widely-held belief by the American people that the Affordable Care Act will not fulfill its promises and will result in higher costs for American families, we implore you to listen to the American people. This law is unworkable and harmful to the economy and to American families, and your actions to delay the employer mandate are an acknowledgement of this fact. While your recent action provides temporary relief for some, we believe that all Americans deserve permanent relief from this onerous law, so that we can adopt common-sense reforms that will actually lower costs and that Americans support.