March 23rd marked the one year anniversary of Obamacare being signed into law by the President. The bill was passed on a party line vote, in a rush, and without due consideration.
Since the bill’s enactment we’ve learned a lot. We’ve found out that the flawed legislation will adversely affect every American family, millions of seniors and small businesses throughout our communities. Its $500 billion cuts to Medicare, which include $156 billion in Medicare Advantage cuts, will hurt southwestern Ohioans already at risk.
I voted against this government takeover of health care in part because it imposed over $500 billion of additional taxes, fees, and costs on an already struggling economy. Those taxes coupled with nearly $2 trillion in new government spending over the next 20 years will stifle the growth we need to put Americans back to work. The bipartisan Congressional Budget Office has stated that Obamacare will increase the already bloated federal budget deficit by over $550 billion in the first ten years of the law and then by $1.4 trillion in the following 10 years.
In January, I joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House who voted to repeal this burdensome bill. While we await the Senate’s action on the repeal bill, there has been an effort by both sides of the aisle to repeal those individual provisions of Obamacare that hurt families and job creators in our communities.
To shine a spotlight on how Obama care hurts small businesses I visited Ferno-Washington, Inc.; a medical device manufacturer in Wilmington, OH. Ferno-Washington, Inc. is the global leader in the manufacture and distribution of professional emergency, mortuary, and healthcare products sold primarily first responders. There, I announced the reintroduction of legislation which would repeal the Obamacare excise tax on first responder equipment.
While I was visiting Ferno- Washington, Inc. CEO Joe Bourgraf articulated just how this 2.3 percent tax would affect his business. This provision in Obamacare places an undue burden on manufacturers of life saving equipment - even right here in Ohio’s Third Congressional District. Driving up the cost of products discourages budget strained municipalities from investing in new equipment, and stunts the growth of our struggling economy.
The effects of Obamacare on our economy are detrimental and real. Adding an additional tax onto these products drives up their price and deters potential purchases. If that business isn’t increasing sales, they’re not growing the economy and they’re not creating jobs. Some areas in our Congressional District have unemployment rates in excess of 14 percent. A new tax is not going to help our neighbors who are looking for a job, or are struggling to make ends meet.
With a new Congress, we now have the opportunity to get healthcare reform right and through a bipartisan process. We must address issues such as prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, allowing small businesses to pool coverage, offering the ability to deduct the full cost of their health insurance premiums, and tort reform. My bill to repeal the medical device excise tax is another step in that vein. Eliminating these onerous provisions through a single repeal bill or through several individual bills is the way to ensure we create jobs and get our economy back on track.