WASHINGTON, D.C. | April 30, 2013
Thank you, Chairman Roe. On behalf of the people of Concord, please allow me to extend a warm welcome and offer my sincere appreciation for convening this hearing today. I am particularly thankful for Rowan Cabarrus Community College allowing us to host this hearing on their campus. I served on the Board of Trustees at this college from 2002-2005 and I know what an integral part of the community it is.
To our witnesses, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to be here today. It is important that this committee understand the real implications that the Affordable Care Act will have on job creators like you.
North Carolinians are hardworking individuals who are extremely concerned with the ever-increasing role government plays in our daily lives. North Carolina currently has the fifth highest unemployment rate in the country— some counties in my district have between 12 percent and 16 percent unemployment. I tell folks all the time my top three priorities are JOBS, JOBS, and JOBS. Our priority as a state and nation should not be implementing more mandates handed down from Washington, but doing all we can to roll back the regulations that are crushing small business and enable our employers to get back to creating jobs.
The problems facing America’s economy and workforce are immense, and the current regulatory environment simply creates confusion, anxiety, and a culture of uncertainty among small businesses. The extremely detailed and complex regulations that make up the Affordable Care Act only add to the hesitation businesses have with hiring people in a climate clouded with regulations. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently conducted a survey of small business owners in which 71 percent of the participants in the survey said that it will be harder to hire new employees under this health care law.
I was recently talking to a business owner who owns a few oil change franchises and he told me that he bought land to build 3 more shops, but isn’t going to build them now. I asked why and he said because it will add about 15 new employees, which will put him over the 50 employee threshold. While we may not be able to turn the economy around with 15 jobs, we can turn it around 15 jobs at a time. Our government shouldn’t be penalizing businesses who want to expand, they should be encouraging it. Unfortunately, this is the reality under the President’s health care law.
Some of the original leading proponents of the Affordable Care Act are starting to vocalize just how detrimental the effects of the law will be. Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller recently stated, “I am of the belief that the Affordable Care Act is probably the most complex piece of legislation ever passed by the United States Congress.… It’s just beyond comprehension.” Senate Democrat Max Baucus, who helped write the legislation, recently addressed the implementation of the law saying, “I just see a huge train wreck coming down.”
I was not a member of Congress when the Affordable Care Act was passed into law. However, from the beginning, I joined the public debate in opposition to a government takeover of health care. Since being sworn in, I have taken numerous steps to stop or at least fix this dangerous health care law that will harm our job creators and workers if left untouched. I recently co-sponsored legislation to repeal and defund the law entirely and have introduced legislation that takes an incremental approach to repealing certain harmful provisions in the law.
I know that good ideas don’t originate in Washington, D.C. Therefore, it is important that we hear from real people out here in the real world. That’s why I live here in Concord and commute to Washington to vote. That’s also why I was grateful to learn the subcommittee was going to convene this field hearing here today. Today’s hearing serves as opportunity to examine the real life effects of the Affordable Care Act’s implementation and I’m looking forward to an open discussion about how we can work toward commonsense solutions that help expand access to affordable health care for the American people.
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