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Education & Labor Committee Republicans

Contact: Press Office (202) 226-9440
Facing the Facts on Health Care
Will Secretary Sebelius Accept the Harsh Reality of ObamaCare?

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify before the House Education and the Workforce Committee today on President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposal. While the committee will examine a number of social services programs administered by HHS, members will also have an opportunity to address their continuing concerns about the 2010 government takeover of health care. Committee Republicans will highlight four critical ObamaCare facts that are creating problems for American families, employers, and workers.

Fact #1 - Costs Are Going Up

Whether you buy health insurance, pay taxes, or both – it is painfully obvious health care costs are going up. Despite promising to lower costs, the president’s failed health care policies have left families, workers, and taxpayers on the hook for bigger bills:

  • The Kaiser Family Foundation reports the cost of a family health care plan spiked 9 percent just last year, a dramatic increase that pushes the average family’s health care expenses to more than $15,000 a year;
      
  • An analysis by Charles Blahous, a public trustee of Medicare and Social Security, removed ObamaCare’s budget gimmicks and revealed the law could lead to $527 billion in deficit spending over the next decade;
      
  • The president’s budget asks taxpayers for roughly $1 billion to implement ObamaCare and an additional $111 billion to finance the law’s various “health insurance subsidies.”

It seems a government takeover of health care is far more expensive than the administration let on. As one Pennsylvania employer said of ObamaCare: “It did not reduce the cost of insurance. It did not reduce the uncertainty of offering insurance.”

Fact #2 - Jobs Will Be Destroyed

The most recent employment report showed a troubling slowdown in hiring by America’s employers.  ObamaCare’s crushing mandates stand in the way of an employer’s ability to grow his or her business and create new jobs, and, as a result, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the law will lead to 800,000 fewer jobs by 2021. Widespread fears of the law’s impact on job growth have been confirmed by job creators:

  • Gail Johnson, president of Rainbow Station in Glen Allen, VA: “Complying with the requirements of the new law will force entrepreneurs to invest less into growing their business….the new health care reform law will slow or stall the growth of small and midsized businesses as we struggle to absorb its new costs."
      
  • Mark Messmer, co-owner of Messmer Mechanical in Jasper, IN: "The requirement for employers with over 50 employees to insure part time and seasonal workers provides strong disincentives toward job creation… It will be almost impossible for an entrepreneur to start a new business and hire."
       
  • Denis Johnson, vice president of Boston Scientific in Spencer, IN: "The new health law imposed a 2.3% excise tax on most types of medical devices… Such a severe increase in tax liability will undoubtedly force us to cut critical R&D funding and inhibit job creation and retention."

Fact # 3 –  Millions Risk Losing their Health Insurance

The American people were told time and again: “If you like your current health care, you can keep it.”  The lynchpin of this promise was a provision in ObamaCare that “grandfathered” or exempted existing health insurance plans from the law’s onerous rules and mandates. However, just months after the bill was signed into law, the Obama administration essentially regulated this protection out of existence.

Obama bureaucrats now concede millions of Americans face “significant changes” to their health insurance plan. As a result, employers are facing difficult choices that may include dropping health care coverage entirely:

  • CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation have estimated ObamaCare will result in three to five million fewer people obtaining health care through their employer;
       
  • A 2011 survey of 1,300 employers discovered that roughly one out of every three employers “will definitely or probably stop” offering health insurance.
       
  • Even the left-leaning Urban Institute has suggested that “droves of employees—potentially tens of millions—are likely to shift out of employer-provided insurance over the next decade or two.”

Fact # 4 - Most Small Businesses Find No Relief

Even though President Obama has recognized small businesses as the “backbone” of our economy, his health care law hits small employers the hardest. The National Federation of Independent Business reports the employer mandate will destroy up to 249,000 jobs, with small businesses bearing 59 percent of the burden. And any relief the administration promised is temporary and only available to 5 percent of small business owners. As one witness testified before Congress:

  • “The full value of the tax credit applies to only a small number of small businesses under very specific circumstances—and [it is] temporary, so costs will rise again once the credits expire."

Today’s hearing provides a good opportunity for the administration to face the facts: ObamaCare is raising costs, destroying jobs, hurting small businesses, and undermining the health care of millions of Americans. It is time to accept reality and move our country in a better direction.

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