By Rep. Tom Graves and Rep. Doug Collins
We remain optimistic that Obamacare can and will be repealed. While the 2012 election results and the Supreme Court decision might seem to suggest otherwise, it’s important to remember that the law has just begun to take effect. In fact, Obamacare won’t be in full force until 2014.
Recently, a joint report issued by the Republican members of House and Senate congressional committees shed some light on what we can expect. For Georgia, health insurance premiums are expected to increase between 61% and 100%. For young adults in Atlanta, the premium increase is projected to be as high as 179%. These are shocking financial burdens for families and young people who are already struggling under the economic hardship of the Obama years.
Knowing what’s at stake for our families and communities, we have rallied our efforts behind the Defund Obamacare Act. The legislation would prevent your tax dollars from being used to fund Obamacare, which means its many costly, burdensome and invasive provisions would not be implemented.
We believe the Defund Obamacare Act has an opportunity to gain traction in Congress for many reasons beyond the premium increases. Obamacare will become increasingly unpopular as its $1 trillion tax hike and 127 million hours of regulatory compliance begin to weigh down communities across the country. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 7 million Americans will lose their employer-based health insurance because of the law and that 800,000 people will lose their jobs. Other estimates say that millions of jobs will be at risk as employers transition from full-time employees to more part-time employees to deal with the high costs of the law.
Even if Obamacare doesn’t directly impact your health insurance or job, it will reverberate throughout the entire economy, all the way to your favorite food joints and even pet care. Recently, there were news reports about Five Guys restaurants raising the price of their famous burgers and fries as a result of Obamcare and veterinarians charging more to care for pets as a result of the law’s new medical device tax.
It’s easy for eyes to glaze over at all the numbers, statistics and warnings, but the fact is, the government has wrapped its arms around an entire sector of the economy, and the impact on our lives will be significant.
The Obama Administration will allow consumers to begin signing up for Obamacare in October, and the whole law kicks in this coming January. With our timeline growing shorter, we’re working hard to build support for the Defund Obamacare Act now. Our bill is designed to tear the law out by every root. Not only does it protect your tax dollars from being used to put any part of the law into place, but it would also take back previously approved funding so that we get as much of our money refunded as possible.
If need be, we are prepared for a long fight. If this law is in place come January, the severe consequences of government-centered health care will begin to take hold, and public opinion of the law will become increasingly negative. As costs rise and more people lose their jobs, we could see Americans of all political stripes turn against Obamacare in droves, and if they do, we’ll be ready to rally their support around our legislation to stop the law.
The Defund Obamacare Act enjoyed the support of more than 70 cosponsors during the last Congress, and we hope to build even more support during this legislative session. If we’re going to stop the law, we need every voice on our side to speak out. Tell your friends and family across the country about the Defund Obamacare Act. Urge them to contact their Member of Congress and encourage him or her to become a cosponsor.
With less than nine months to go and the real impact of the law beginning to sink in, we have a real chance to stop Obamacare. It is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss.
Rep. Tom Graves (GA-14) is a member of the House Appropriations committee and the original sponsor of H.R. 1005, Defund Obamacare Act.
Rep. Doug Collins (GA-09) is serving his first term as a Member of Congress and an original co-sponsor of H.R. 1005, Defund Obamacare Act.