By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Small businessmen are worrying about approaching Obamacare mandates. That is the message that both Congressman Mike Rogers (R) and Congresswoman Martha Roby (R) received from visits with their constituents.
Representative Mike Rogers sent a letter on Tuesday to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to share the concerns of East Alabamians over Obamacare and urging that the increasingly unpopular healthcare plan be repealed before it is fully implemented.
Rep. Roby has used Facebook and Twitter to ask constituents what questions they would have for Secretary Sebelius regarding the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act. Among the first questions submitted was one from Jason Missildine of Prattville who asked how increased taxes and fees are supposed to lower healthcare costs for Americans.
Rep. Rogers wrote Sebelius, “In particular, there appears to be growing confusion about higher health insurance premiums, mass compliance confusion, and downright fear for the livelihood of individuals and their families. Additionally, small business owners in my district have told me that this law will prevent them from expanding and providing new jobs in my district. ….. In a recent CNN poll, 54% of Americans said they opposed Obamacare. I do as well.”
Congressman Rogers wrote, “Back in Alabama last week, I had the opportunity to hear back from my constituents on one of their top concerns: Obamacare. Folks are scared to death over all the regulations, the red tape, the costs and the real possibility of the detrimental effects it could have on small businesses and their jobs across East Alabama and the country. I voted against Obamacare and have voted to repeal it several times.”
Sebelius testified before the Education and Workforce full committee where Rep. Roby asked Sebelius Missildine’s question among others. Rogers office wrote that Sebelius, “Caught a lot of heat from Members about how Obamacare is negatively affecting job growth.”
Rep. Roby said in a written statement afterwards, “I was pleased to bring the concerns of hardworking Alabamians directly to the person responsible for implementing ObamaCare. Unfortunately, Secretary Sebelius didn’t answer Mr. Missildine’s question. Her response just further illustrates that this Administration is more interested in redistribution of wealth than they are in actually lowering health care costs for all Americans.”
Roby told Sebelius that many of her constituents have told her that they fear what the IRS will do with the additional power and fear that they will be attacked by the IRS if they speak out. “For my constituents – many who are small business owners – to tell me they are afraid to publicly address grievances with their government for fear of reprisal or selective targeting by the IRS is chilling. It’s just another reminder of the consequences that can come from the government abusing its power,” Rep. Roby said.
All Americans are required to get healthcare insurance before 2014 or expect to pay much higher taxes when penalties are imposed. To this point, Obamacare has not led to lower healthcare costs or more Americans having healthcare insurance.
Congressman Mike Rogers represents Alabama’s Third Congressional District and Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.