Americans deserve a waiver from the new health care law

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By Congressman Bob Goodlatte

Nearly a year and a half ago, with total disregard for the will of the American people, President Obama signed the new health care reform legislation into law. This new law is defined by federal regulations, mandates, a myriad of new big government programs, and a significant increase in federal spending and debt at a cost to our country too high to bear.

Over the past several weeks multiple reports have come out indicating that the new health care reform law has not lived up to its promises and will in fact result in higher premiums, more spending, and new mandates.

As of just a few weeks ago, the Department of Health and Human Services had already granted nearly 1,400 waivers for various portions of the new health care reform law. These waivers will exempt more than three million Americans from the new health care reform law, including some of the new law’s biggest supporters. The fact that so many waivers have been issued is further evidence that the new law will simply increase health care costs while restricting choices.


Recently I joined a number of other Members of Congress in sending a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services urging the Department for full transparency regarding the health care waivers that have been granted. The Administration should be forthcoming in the types of requests for waivers that they have received, those they have denied and those that are still pending.


In addition, a recent survey by Price Waterhouse Coopers indicates that nearly half of employers could drop health care coverage for their employees. Eighty-four percent of companies indicated that they would make some changes to their plans, such as raising premiums or copayments, to offset the costs associated with the new health care reform law while nearly half of employers “indicated they were likely to change subsidies for employee medical coverage”, forcing employees on to the government-run exchanges and causing the cost of taxpayer-funded insurance subsidies to soar.

While these are just a few of the startling problems with the new health care reform law there are a whole host of others. That is why one of the first major acts of the 112th Congress was to pass legislation which would repeal the sweeping new health care reform law in its entirety. Rather than dictating medical decisions from Washington, we should be concentrating our efforts on making premiums more affordable for all Americans and giving them the freedom to choose the plan that best fits their needs.


We need a positive, patient-centered strategy that puts patients, families and doctors, not Washington bureaucrats, in control of personal health care decisions. While we can all agree that our current health care system needs to be reformed, the new health care law was not the right way to do it which is why we must repeal it and replace it with commonsense measures that expand access and choices while lowering costs.