SCALISE: We Have To Stop The Obamacare Train Wreck

We all remember President Obama’s lofty prom­ises — “If you like the plan you have, you can keep it.” “We will lower premiums for the typi­cal family by $2,500 a year.” “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits.”

Unfortunately for hard-working Americans and their families, all of those promises and many others have been broken. Despite the problems and the fact that the Senate author of this law described it as a “train wreck,” the Obama administration remains fixated on implementing many broken parts of this law. The costs will be devastating.

Health insurance premiums are soar­ing, taxes are rising and employers are being forced to drop good health plans and reduce their workforce. Individuals and families across the country are waking up to the sobering Obamacare reality as employers like Walgreens, Home Depot, UPS and others are forced to reduce health care coverage due to perverse incentives and unworkable mandates in the law. Because of President Obama’s health care law, Louisiana families are facing increases of as much as 56 percent in next year’s health care premiums.

Businesses simply can’t comply with the thousands of pages of burdensome regulations in the Affordable Care Act. The trickle-down effect of these regulations will, and is already starting to, devastate the jobs market. The devastating effects of this law are far from a partisan issue. Union leaders like James Hoffa recently stated: “The unintended consequences of the ACA are severe. Perverse incentives are already creating nightmare scenarios.”

Additionally, he stated that Obamacare will “destroy the foundation of the 40-hour work week that is the back­bone of the American middle class.”

Even President Obama has now agreed that this law is unworkable and not ready for prime time by delaying it for big businesses and insurance companies. He has already given more than 1,000 waivers to select groups and individuals who have access to the White House. He has even tried to exempt members of Congress from the effects of the law.

Either Obamacare is good enough that it should apply to all, or it is so bad that it should apply to none. It is time for the sweetheart deals and backroom exemptions to end.

It is time to extend that same relief to American fami­lies who continue suffering under the weight of the bro­ken promises in Obamacare.

When a skyscraper is built on a bad foundation, it is not enough to replace a few windows on the top floor and call it a day. The only way to fix the problem is to scrap the building, repair the damage and start over by doing it the right way. The same approach needs to be tak­en when dealing with President Obama’s health care law, which jeopardizes the very foundation of our health care system and the economic security of our nation. It is our duty to fund the government while using every legislative tool available to delay, defund, and, ultimately, repeal and replace the ACA.

Simply repealing the president’s health care law and returning to the old status quo is not enough, though. There were problems in our health care system prior to the ACA, and those prob­lems have been made severely worse by Obamacare. Costs are higher. Access to good health care is more lim­ited. There is a better way.

That is why Republicans have not only voted to repeal the president’s law, but we’ve also proposed our own solutions. The Republican Study Committee has released the American Health Care Reform Act, a con­servative, patient-centered solution to reduce health costs and increase access without the unworkable man­dates and job-killing taxes in President Obama’s law.

It is time to address the looming Obamacare crisis and ask ourselves if we want to sit by and allow a train wreck, or work together to stop one.

Then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” The American people are finding out what is in Obamacare and contin­ue to dislike it. They know that there is a better way to reform our health care system, and I strongly agree.


U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise is a Republican who represents the 1st Congressional District.  This piece originally appeared at



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