Thompson delivers rebuke of White House over employer mandate delay under the President's health care law

Jul 9, 2013 Issues: Healthcare

Remarks:

Mr. Speaker, last week while the American people were preparing to celebrate the 237th birthday of the Nation the Obama Administration announced via a blog post that it will provide an additional year before the employer reporting requirements and the employer shared responsibility requirements of Obama-care take effect.

There are few issues as personal and significant in the lives of individuals and families as health and well-being. Which is why the irony of reminding Americans that government now controls their health care during the week we celebrate our Country’s independence did not go unnoticed.

Despite efforts to quietly buy time and obfuscate responsibility for this fatally-designed Health Care law, most Americans rightfully view this delay as an admission of failure.

Mr. Speaker, the businesses that provide the jobs and the source of health care coverage for most Americans were not surprised by this announcement. Most are well aware that this law was thoughtlessly rammed through Congress in the middle of the night with a litany of technical flaws and other blatant failures.  

Unfortunately, employers have been struggling with high healthcare costs since before this law passed. Given the combined pressures of new taxes and regulations, businesses are hurting exponentially worse now that the law’s provisions have begun to take effect. 

These new government mandates incentivize businesses to reduce their workforce to under 50 full-time equivalency employees. 

To avoid financial penalties the incentive under Obama-care is to reduce individual hours to avoid these mandates.

Employees now face the redefinition of what full-time means down to just 35 hours a week.

This law denies opportunities for growth that could and should be available and promoted. This is fundamentally counter to what a vibrant and robust American economy demands.

Fewer jobs and reduced individual hours are not good for individuals, families, businesses or our economy – nonetheless, employees and employers alike are experiencing the consequences of “Obama-sizing” both businesses and jobs.

By the time the law is fully implemented in 2023, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the President’s healthcare law will still leave 30 million uninsured.

At the same time, the law is massively driving up the cost of care for both employers and employees.  In fact, 17 of the nation’s largest insurance companies indicate that health insurance premiums will grow an average of 100 percent under this law.

The evidence is overwhelmingly conclusive, Mr. Speaker, Obama-care is not only unaffordable, but it also fails to address access to care in any meaningful way. 

In the process, we’re damaging everything that is good and effective about the current system. To boot, we’re undermining growth and stalling our economic recovery. Effectively, we’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater. 

The fact that the White House used a blog posted to announce the employer mandate change reveals just how desperate the administration is to cover up the flaws of this fatally-flawed law.

Unfortunately, this is not something the White House was willing to admit until after the mid-term election. 

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I yield back the balance of my time.