By U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (AL-1)
By now, you may have heard the good news. Last week, the House passed H.R. 596, my bill to repeal Obamacare in its entirety. I was proud to champion this legislation on behalf of the families, small businesses and doctors in Southwest Alabama who have been hurt by this failed law.
Obamacare remains very unpopular with the American people, and only seven percent of Americans believe Obamacare will reduce their health care costs. From cancelled plans to higher deductibles to longer wait times at your doctor, this law is full of broken promises.
Don’t forget, we were told we would like the law once we found out what was in it, but the opposite has proven to be true. We were told that we could keep our health care plans and keep our family physicians. Those pledges also proved to not be true. The more we learn about Obamacare, the less it makes sense.
While some of my colleagues on the other side of aisle were quick to point out that this wasn’t the first House vote to repeal Obamacare, this time is different. This represented the first vote to repeal Obamacare since Republicans took control of the Senate last year. Senate Democrats can no longer stand in the way of forcing every Senator to say whether they stand with President Obama and his disastrous healthcare law or if they stand with the American people.
This also marked the first full repeal vote since the law has been implemented. We have now seen the heartbreaking impact of cancelled plans and higher deductibles. In fact, right now American families are sitting around their kitchen tables to do their taxes and realizing the complexity of new tax requirements brought on by Obamacare. According to the IRS, up to 6 million people will face an Obamacare tax penalty.
Everywhere I go in south Alabama I hear a different story about how Obamacare is hurting American families. My office has received hundreds of letters, emails and phone calls from people negatively impacted by the law.
I’ve heard the story of the hardworking taxpayer in Baldwin County who has had his health care plan cancelled because the federal government said it wasn’t good enough.
I’ve heard about the doctor from north Mobile County who has been forced into retirement instead of watching new regulations turn his industry and way of life upside down.
I’ve heard from the small business owner in Monroe County who has had to cut back on hours and lay off employees in order to avoid new mandates or costly penalties.
These are just a sampling of the real people and real stories about the broken promises of Obamacare, and they are the reason I pushed so hard to get my full repeal legislation brought up for a vote.
Now, I understand that we can’t just repeal Obamacare without something to come behind it. That’s why my legislation delays the repeal for 180 days and instructs the relevant House Committees to begin working on patient-centered solutions to our health care system that aren’t run by the federal government.
I appreciate my House colleagues who joined me in voting to repeal Obamacare and instead chart a path toward conservative, patient-centered solutions. The American people have spoken, and I am proud to lead the way toward getting Americans relief from this broken law.