Obamacare: Three years later

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By Congressman Bob Goodlatte

Some things just do not get better with age. March 23rd marked the third anniversary of the president’s health care law. Three years after the legislation was rammed through Congress and signed into law, we continue to learn more about the real impacts of the law while the trail of broken promises grows longer.


In this short amount of time, the law has imposed more than $30 billion in costs and 111 million hours of paperwork burdens. Health insurance rates have increased and the law will raise taxes on Americans by approximately $1.1 trillion over the next decade. We were told that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. Now, we know this to be yet another broken promise. According to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office, 7 million people will lose their job-based health insurance, nearly double the previous estimate of 4 million.


Many businesses have already cited regulations and mandates under the law as obstacles to job creation. The mandate requiring businesses with more than 50 employees to provide health care for workers may also encourage employers to hire more temporary or part-time employees to avoid paying higher health care costs associated with full-time workers. The National Federation of Independent Business has estimated that this employer mandate could eliminate 1.6 million jobs by 2014.


It’s only been three years and many provisions of the law have yet to take effect; however, the American people are already feeling the burden. The question is: what is next? The answer is simple. Efforts to repeal Obamacare should not stop now. As implementation of the law continues, including the health insurance exchanges in 2014, problems and concerns with the law will only grow. Last Congress I voted nearly 30 times to repeal, dismantle, or defund Obamacare. In the 113th Congress, I have already cosponsored several bills that would do the same, including the Medical Device Tax Repeal Bill, the Protecting Seniors' Access to Medicare Act, the Healthcare Tax Relief and Mandate Repeal Act, as well as a bill that would repeal the law altogether. The House budget, which I supported, also included the repeal of Obamacare.


This law impacts every family, taxpayer, and business in America. The web of increased health care costs, higher taxes, burdensome mandates, and job losses is hard to stomach. It’s clear that our health care system needs real improvements and reforms, but this law is not the solution we need to ensure quality, accessible, and affordable care for Americans. I will continue working to replace Obamacare with common sense reforms that lower health care costs and empower patients.