Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ralph E WallSrAdmin started a new discussion "Letter Congressman Griffith 9th Dist" on Tea Party Command Center

Ralph E WallSrAdmin started the discussion "Letter Congressman Griffith 9th Dist" in the group Commonwealth of Virginia on Tea Party Command Center

Thank you for contacting me regarding Obamacare.  I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.


However you feel about the philosophy of Obamacare, what has become increasingly clear is that it was not built carefully enough to work.  Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is infamous for having said that Congress had 'to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it.'


Well, they passed it.  We now know what's in it, and the American people don't like it.  So far, what the President promised hasn't come true.  


Americans who have a health care plan that they like ought to be able to keep that plan.  To that end, I joined Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and a number of other Members of Congress in introducing H.R. 3350, the Keep Your Health Plan Act.  This bill would allow health insurance plans currently available on the individual market to be offered next year, and also would give Americans the choice to continue enrolling in those plans without being penalized under Obamacare's individual mandate.  H.R. 3350 passed the House of Representatives with my support by a vote of 261 to 157  on November 15, 2013.  


As you may know, on November 14, President Obama announced that, "Insurers can extend current plans that otherwise would be canceled into 2014 and Americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan."  President Obama believes that he can take action on his own to fix Obamacare through executive orders.  However, Congress has the constitutional authority to make laws and change laws, not the President.  President Obama should work with Congress and use H.R. 3350 to solve one of the many problems with Obamacare. 


Both before and after the Obamacare health care plan was signed into law more than three years ago, President Obama and other supporters of the law repeatedly reassured Americans that "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period.  No one will take it away.  No matter what."  This promise – made without caveats or exceptions – was reportedly spoken by the President at least 34 times, according to the Tampa Bay Times' independent Politifact.


However, this blanket promise simply isn't true for everyone.  Because of new Obamacare standards, "thousands of people in Virginia and elsewhere are getting notices that their existing plans will no longer be offered after Jan. 1 or the next time they are up for renewal," read a recent report in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.


Clarence Page, a member of the editorial board at the Chicago Tribune – President Obama's hometown paper – says he "support[s] most of [President Obama's] policies and programs," but "in this instance, he would have to be delusional to think he was telling the truth."  In a recent interview with NBC News, the President admitted that "we weren't as clear as we needed to be," and said "I am sorry that [people] -- you know, are finding themselves in this situation, based on assurances they got from me."  


My colleagues and I in the House of Representatives are ready, willing, and able to help President Obama keep this broken promise.  This is a mess that he and his Democrat allies in Congress created, passing Obamacare without Republican input or support.  If the President and his allies want to help us fix this mess – and are not intent on just bashing Republicans – they too will support the Keep Your Health Plan Act.   


Furthermore, President Obama promised in a speech before Congress that his health care proposal would not add to the national deficit, but the Government Accountability Office estimated that it will add to the long-term deficit by $6.2 trillion.  


The Administration promised that premium rates would go down, but the Energy and Commerce Committee recently released a report revealing that consumers' premiums for certain groups or individuals could spike as high as 400 percent.  In Virginia, the small group market is projected to increase by 31 percent.


CLASS, the law's long-term care program, was determined to be financially unsustainable and has been suspended.  


This bill will help a few people, but will hurt many.  Instead of insisting that we go forward with a faulty plan that will collapse like a house of cards, we should instead focus on how we help the few people who need it without harming the many.


During my time in Congress, I have voted to repea l and defund Obamac are multiple times. You may be interested to know that I supported legislation (H.R. 45) that would fully repeal Obamacare on May 16, 2013.  Introduced by Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN), H.R. 45 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 229 – 195.  Please know that I will continue advocating for commonsense policies until America finally achieves real health care reform.


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