WASHINGTON, D.C. | June 16, 2010
The following op-ed was published online at Big Government on June 16, 2010
"Health overhaul to force changes in employer plans.” “Draft health rules set hurdles.” “Employer health care costs to jump 9% in 2011.” With headlines like these splashed across the nation’s newspapers, it’s no wonder the American public remains steadfastly opposed to the government takeover of health care signed into law by President Obama in March. Just this week, the Obama administration released bureaucratic new health care regulations that could change or eliminate more than half of all employer-provided health care plans, affecting tens of millions of Americans. Apparently, “If you like it, you can keep it” was an Obama promise too good to be true – one of many, as it is turning out.
Indeed, ObamaCare’s broken promises are piling up for America’s families, seniors, and job-creators and stifling the economic recovery we all hope to achieve. Bureaucratic mandates, higher taxes, and record deficit spending are proven job killers – yet these very principles lay at the heart of the Democrats’ government takeover of health care.
During the Blair House summit, Speaker Pelosi decreed the Democrats’ health care plan would “create four million jobs -- 400,000 jobs almost immediately.” With a national unemployment rate stuck near 10 percent, and with 15 million Americans searching for work, Republicans and the American people continue to ask: Where are the jobs?
One of the lasting lessons of the health care debate is this: The American people will no longer accept a federal government that is tone-deaf to their concerns. Men and women who never before have spoken out about politics are now standing up and demanding to be heard. And Republicans are using every resource and seizing every opportunity to bring their voices to Washington D.C.
A central part of our effort is America Speaking Out, a bold new initiative designed to give the American people a voice in shaping a new governing agenda for Congress and the nation. Through AmericaSpeakingOut.com, Americans can post policy suggestions and vote or offer comments on the ideas shared by lawmakers and fellow citizens. It is truly an unprecedented dialogue between the people and their elected leaders.
In the weeks since it launched, ASO has been a powerful force on the internet and in town hall meetings in congressional districts from coast to coast. Tomorrow, the ingenuity of ASO comes to the halls of Congress thanks to the House GOP Health Care Solutions Group. For more than a year, House Republicans have studied the nation’s health care challenges and offered commonsense solutions to lower health care costs and protect jobs without growing the size of government.
Tomorrow’s forum will be the second in a series of meetings intended to shine a brighter light on the consequences of ObamaCare for America’s families and job creators. We have invited experts and individuals with real-world experience to discuss the chilling effect a government takeover of health care is having on job creators across the country. Already we know ObamaCare will penalize small businesses for raising wages or creating new jobs, and we know it will hit businesses – both large and small – with an estimated $87 billion in new penalties for failing to provide government-approved health care. The American people deserve to have these facts examined and they deserve an opportunity to chart a different course, one they support.
At America Speaking Out, citizens have a national platform to offer their ideas for reigning in government spending and advancing American prosperity. Chief to achieving those goals is the desire to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with reform the country can afford. Tomorrow’s health care forum will allow members of Congress and outside experts to discuss ideas posted to America Speaking Out, as well as suggest new ideas for the public to consider.
In his farewell from the Oval Office, President Reagan noted that while as a great nation our challenges seem complex, “as long as we remember our first principles and believe in ourselves, the future will always be ours.” Limited government, personal responsibility, and economic freedom will once again lead this nation to opportunity and prosperity. Democrats disregarded these basic principles in their pursuit of government-run health care. The consequences have proven devastating.
The American people realize the path to renewing our economic prosperity comes through courage and sacrifice, and they are demanding a renewed commitment to our oldest and most basic principles. The American people are speaking out, and Republicans are listening.