H.R. 6079: Repeal of Obamacare Act

H.R. 6079

Repeal of Obamacare Act

Date
July 10, 2012 (112th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, July 10, 2012, the House is scheduled to begin consideration of H.R. 6079, the Repeal of Obamacare Act, under a rule.  The rule provides for five hours of debate divided among the Majority and Minority Leader, and the chairmen and ranking minority members of the following committees: Education and Workforce, Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Budget, Judiciary, and Small Business.  Additionally, the rule allows for one motion to recommit with or without instructions. (For additional information on the rule, including specific debate times, click here.)  The bill was introduced on July 9, 2012, by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA). 

Bill Summary

The bill would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, and Title I and subtitle B of Title II of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

In addition, the bill would include various findings regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Cara Act (PPACA).  Specifically, the bill would state: “Despite projected spending of more than two trillion dollars over the next 10 years, cutting Medicare by more than one-half trillion dollars over that period, and increasing taxes by over $800 billion dollars over that period, the law does not lower health care costs.” 

And, “The law imposes new or higher taxes on American families and businesses, including 12 taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year.”

Concluding, “The law expands government control over health care, adds trillions of dollars to existing liabilities, drives costs up even further, and too often put Federal bureaucrats, instead of doctors and patients, in charge of health care decision making.  The path to patient-centered care and lower costs for all Americans must begin with a full repeal of the law.”

The legislative digest for the job-destroying health care law can be found here.

Background

President Obama promised the American people that if they liked their current health coverage, they could keep it.  But even the Obama Administration admits that tens of millions of Americans are at risk of losing their health care coverage, including as many as 8 in 10 plans offered by small businesses.

Despite projected spending of more than two trillion dollars over the next 10 years, cutting Medicare by more than one-half trillion dollars over that period, and increasing taxes by over $800 billion dollars over that period, the law does not lower health care costs.  In fact, the law actually makes coverage more expensive for millions of Americans.  The average American family already paid a premium increase of approximately $1,200 in the year following passage of the law.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts that health insurance premiums for individuals buying private health coverage on their own will increase by $2,100 in 2016 compared to what the premiums would have been in 2016 if the law had not passed. 

The law cuts more than one-half trillion dollars in Medicare and uses the funds to create a new entitlement program rather than to protect and strengthen the Medicare program.  Actuaries at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) warn that the Medicare cuts contained in the law are so drastic that “providers might end their participation in the program (possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries).”  CBO cautioned that the Medicare cuts ‘‘might be difficult to sustain over a long period of time’’.  According to the CMS actuaries, 7.4 million Medicare beneficiaries who would have been enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2017 will lose access to their plan because the law cuts $206 billion in payments to Medicare Advantage plans.  The Trustees of the Medicare Trust Funds predict that the law will result in a substantial decline in employer-sponsored retiree drug coverage, and 90 percent of seniors will no longer have access to retiree drug coverage by 2016 as a result of the law.

Further, the law also creates a 15-member, unelected Independent Payment Advisory Board that is empowered to make binding decisions regarding what treatments Medicare will cover and how much Medicare will pay for treatments solely to cut spending, restricting access to health care for seniors.

Additionally, the law and the more than 13,000 pages of related regulations issued before July 11, 2012, are causing great uncertainty, slowing economic growth, and limiting hiring opportunities for the approximately 13 million Americans searching for work.  Imposing higher costs on businesses will lead to lower wages, fewer workers, or both.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently posted the following regarding cost estimates for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA): “CBO is still assessing the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the agency’s projections of federal spending and revenue under current law.  We expect to complete that assessment and release updated projections of the budgetary effects of the ACA’s coverage provisions during the week of July 23rd.  Because such updated projections are the base against which CBO will estimate the budgetary effects of changes in the ACA, CBO cannot provide estimates of the effects of such changes—including the effects of repealing the ACA—until that assessment is completed during the week of July 23rd.” (emphasis added)