“The Affordable Care Act is not affordable.”
House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) appeared this evening on Fox Business’ Willis Report to discuss the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on the president’s health care law.
Hensarling on problems with the president’s health care law:
“The truth of the matter is- it remains a bill that is impeding our economy. When you talk to any business in America, the recent Chamber of Commerce poll of small businesspeople, three quarters of them tell you it’s inhibiting job growth. The Congressional Budget Office – which, by the way, is run by a democrat – says it could cost us almost us almost a million jobs. You talk to any employer, those in medical devices, small businesses who don’t want to go over 50, it’s a nightmare, number one. And then second of all, it weighs in at almost $2 trillion. $800 billion of new taxes. You can't afford it … the Affordable Care Act is not affordable.
Hensarling on the individual mandate:
“All the Democrats told us without it the bill wouldn't work. And I agree with them. But in the short-term, I'm not sure the president is going to admit to that. … We still have challenges in health care. But House Republicans are not going to repeat the mistakes of the Democrats and do some kind of bum’s rush – rush through a complicated, complex 2,900-page bill that no one understands. We’ll take smart steps, commonsense steps, incremental steps to make sure that health care is more affordable and portable and maintains its high quality and access.
Hensarling on House Republicans’ plan to replace the president’s health care law:
“The first thing we're going to do is listen to the American people, which is not committing the same mistakes that the Democrats did before that. I think there are a number of commonsense Republican bills that are out there. Number one, we can work on medical liability reform. … We have defensive medicine that’s getting practiced all over this nation. Ask any doctor. I bet you on average we’re somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 to 30 percent of the medicine which is practiced is totally defensive medicine. If you add medical liability reform – like we had in my home state of Texas – it improved our quality, it improved our access, it helped bring down the cost. That’s just one commonsense item we could do.”
Hensarling on the fate of certain elements of the president’s health care plan:
“Right now the insurance companies, they’ve by and large said – the major ones – are going to continue on with the 26-year-old coverage. In our own legislation that we’ve had in the past we did it at 25. The pre-existing conditions are important, but right now…it is a very important issue, but the federal risk pool that was set up in the president’s health care plan right now affects 60,000 people out of 300 million. It’s important that Americans know that one debilitating disease won't wipe out a lifetime of savings. But that doesn't mean that we need the president's government takeover of health care to address this problem.”
Hensarling on the constitutionality of the president’s health care law:
“Well he’s obviously reading a different Constitution than I am. It’s a coequal branch – contrary to how the president got it wrong – since Marbury v. Madison. They have the opportunity to review this. We have an interstate commerce clause, we have an enumerated powers clause, and if you have a government that can essentially regulate inactivity, what’s next? Are they going to fine us if we don't eat broccoli on Tuesdays? Are they going to force us to join health clubs? The more interesting question is, besides the policy – this is about the Constitution. I believe sincerely, as do lots of people all across America, that besides being bad policy, this is overreach. It is an unconstitutional law to essentially tell an American in the privacy of their home, ‘Get off your duff and go buy an insurance policy or we’re going to fine you.’ It’s wrong, it’s unconstitutional, we can do better.”