By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
U.S. Representative Martha Roby took to the House floor to state her opposition to President Barack Obama’s health care law. The controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called Obamacare) was passed in March 2010 before Congresswoman Roby was elected in the 2010 election. Widespread unpopularity with the legislation contributed to the Republican takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2010 election.
Rep. Roby addressed the House, “Over the course of the 112th Congress, all of my colleagues and I have cast over 27 votes to repeal or defund this current law. Soon, the Supreme Court is going to hand down a landmark decision regarding the constitutionality of this very law we that are discussing here tonight. Of course, this, like all of your districts, will affect my home district in Alabama.”
Rep. Roby said, “Most of us can agree that this law has very little to do with the common sense health care reform, but translates into substantial costs – well over $500 billion that must be paid by hard working, tax-paying Americans.”
Rep. Roby said that her constituents have expressed concerns about the plan. “One of their largest fears is IPAB, the Independent Payment Advisory Board—labeled by critics, the death panel. Under current law, this 15 member Board will be empowered to find cost savings in Medicare by rationing health care services to senior citizens. Like the President’s czars, this Board will be handpicked by the President, and will not be accountable to the American people or any person that they elected to the Congress to represent them.”
Rep. Roby said that doctors in Alabama have told her that Obamacare cuts in Medicare provider payments will result in more doctors refusing to see Medicare patients. Fewer doctors will go into family practices and internal medicine and seniors will have less access to care.
Rep. Roby said that another concern of her constituents is the employer mandated health insurance provision. Rep. Roby said, “I recently heard from another constituent who owns independent grocery stores throughout Alabama, employing over 500 workers. This means 500 families are making a living from this business. And when he is required by law to provide all of his employees with health insurance, his grocery stores will go bankrupt, causing significant layoffs to his employees.”
Congresswoman Roby said that Obamacare’s mandate that employers provide all of their employees with healthcare insurance could cost the country 1.6 million jobs and 66% of those cuts will come from small businesses.
Rep. Roby concluded, “I cannot emphasis enough that the uncertainty surrounding this law is stifling job creation. As we are accused day after day of not presenting jobs bills, this is it. This is the number one jobs bill. When we repeal this law we will lift the heavy hand of government and we believe, and I know, that the private sector, with that certainty, will once again begin hiring those people who desperately need jobs all over this country.”
Congresswoman Roby represents Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. She is seeking a second term in the November 6th election. Democrat Therese Ford is her opponent.
Alabama and 25 other states, plus the National Federation of Independent Business and several individuals, have sued the administration asking the Supreme Court to reject Obamacare as unconstitutional on the grounds that the tenth amendment to the Constitution limits the authority of the Congress to regulate the conduct on individual citizens. That decision is expected within days.