By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Wednesday, January 6, Congress passed HR3762, a budget “reconciliation” bill that repeals components of Obamacare and places a one-year moratorium on Planned Parenthood funding. The bill will now go to President Obama’s desk. US Representatives Gary Palmer (R-Hoover), Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose), and Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) released statements supporting the legislation.
Congressman Palmer said, “Obamacare is a massive federal takeover of our health care industry that takes away choices from people and limits our freedom. What’s more, it has been a failure. When Obamacare was passed, the American people were told if they liked their doctor, they could keep their doctor. They were told that medical care costs would be cut. They were told that Obamacare would reduce the deficit. They were told that premium prices would drop. They were told that it would not fund abortion, nor force anyone to violate their conscience. We now know the opposite of all these things is true.”
Congressman Byrne said, “This is a monumental vote. For the first time since Republicans took control of the House in 2011, we are in a position to send a bill to the President’s desk that would completely dismantle Obamacare and eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood, who we know has performed the abhorrent action of selling body parts from aborted babies. This piece of legislation is about listening to the American people and working to advance their concerns, right here in the People’s House.”
Congressman Aderholt said, “This is the first time since Obamacare was forced on the American people in 2010 that a bill which actually repeals Obamacare will land on the President’s desk. For the first time, the President will have to sign the bill or veto it – no hiding behind comments about Congress. In these six years it has become clear Obamacare is a failed law. How do we know it has failed? Just look to the millions of families across our country that are struggling each month to pay higher premiums with huge out of pocket expenses for less coverage.”
Rep. Palmer said, “The House has voted to repeal Obamacare before, but because of opposition by Senate Democrats, it has never gone further. Now, through the reconciliation process, both bodies voted to repeal major components of Obamacare and send it to President Obama’s desk. I have no illusions about whether the President will sign the bill. But by putting this in front of him, Congress has proven it has the will and the ability to repeal Obamacare, and put that choice before the American people when it comes time to elect a new President.”
Rep. Byrne said in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, “The President can choose to stand with the American people or he can stand against the American people. If he chooses to veto the bill, then the American people will have seen a clear choice between two very different Americas: an America where the government knows best or an America where the hardworking people are empowered.”
Rep. Aderholt said, “This bill today is just the beginning of the legislative confrontations that will occur under the new Speaker. Along with fighting Obamacare, it is just as important to fight Planned Parenthood and its atrocious activities. Congress is not going to take a back-seat to the presidential campaigns. Instead, we will assert the people’s priorities through legislation. The time to act is now, as the country and the American people cannot wait any longer.”
Rep. Byrne stated, “Obamacare is fundamentally broken. It’s not making health care more affordable. In fact, it is doing just the opposite. As the New York Times pointed out the other day, many Americans find it cheaper to pay the tax penalty and remain uninsured instead of signing up for a health care plan that they simply can’t afford. That is the exact opposite of how this law was supposed to work.”
Rep. Aderholt concluded, “It is not enough to try to play defense against the President’s failed policies; instead we will roll up our sleeves to craft tough legislation and take the fight to the White House. We must take the fight to the President — as only Nick Saban can win playing defense all the time.”
HR3762 would repeal the individual and employer mandates, repeal all tax hikes associated with the original legislation, repeal Medicaid expansion, premium tax credits, and cost-sharing subsidies after two years. The legislation used an expedited process known as budget reconciliation to overcome the 60 vote threshold that is normally required for bills to pass the Senate. The 1974 Congressional Budget Act created a special process reserved exclusively for matters relating to federal spending.
Speaker of the House of Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) said in his own statement, “For five years, Senate Democrats have blocked our efforts to repeal Obamacare. That ends today. With this vote, we are keeping a promise and putting a bill that repeals Obamacare and defunds Planned Parenthood on the president’s desk. This budget reconciliation bill, which would reduce the federal deficit by a half trillion dollars, forces the president to confront the failures of Obamacare head on. But most importantly, it clears the path to repealing this law with a Republican president in 2017 and replacing it with a truly patient-centered health care system. We will not back down from this fight to defend the sanctity of life and make quality health care coverage achievable for all Americans.”
The bill passed the House by a vote of 240 to 181.
Congressman Gary Palmer represents Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District. Congressman Robert Aderholt represents Alabama’s Fourth Congressional District. Congressman Bradley Byrne represents Alabama’s First Congressional District.