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NANCE AND BLACKBURN: Women are fighting Obamacare’s next battle
Allow consumers to shop for insurance across state lines
Conservatives have won the latest battle in the war to make President Obama's health care law obsolete. The House vote on July 11 to repeal Obamacare brings us one step closer to replacing it. Unfortunately, the repeal is unlikely to pass in the Democrat-controlled Senate, and the president has vowed to veto any repeal effort. Nonetheless, as strong women leaders representing our members and constituents, we are committed to keep at it until this legislation is off the books.
There's no disputing the fact that our health care system is broken, but Obamacare is not the answer. Problematic for any reform is that Democrats think more government is the solution. In contrast, Republicans believe in empowering consumers. Like it or not, the Supreme Court ruling that Obamacare is constitutional means government bureaucrats hold the cards with your health care.
In light of the high court ruling, a wave of resistance is exploding across America. In an attempt to protect the sovereignty of their states, several GOP governors are refusing to implement the nationalized health care plan. Texas' Gov. Rick Perry is the latest to join forces with Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana in the steadfast denial of the implementation of Obamacare's Medicare expansion into their states. Mr. Perry adamantly stated, "I will not be party to socializing health care and bankrupting my state in direct contradiction to our Constitution and our founding principles of limited government."
As two women who are responsible for making decisions for the welfare of our families, staff and the respective individuals we've committed to represent, we know firsthand the importance of preventing Washington moguls from hijacking our ability to choose the health care plans that best apply to our lifestyles. Sadly, our nation's leader does not understand this simple concept.
Mr. Obama promised Americans that under his health care law, if we like our current health coverage, we could choose to keep it: "No one will take it away, no matter what," he assured us. But the Obama administration has admitted to the contrary, stating, "As a practical matter, a majority of group health plans will lose their grandfather status by 2013." Moreover, small businesses risk losing as many as 10 coverage plans for their employees.
No issue in Obamacare better demonstrates the law's overreach into the private decisions of citizens than the appropriation of billions of dollars that are now free to find their way into the pockets of abortion providers. The president promised Americans would not be forced to fund elective abortion, but once again, citizens have no choice in the matter. Never mind that 57 percent of respondents to a CBS poll want a religious exemption included in the law. Let's not forget that Mr. Obama's mandate totally violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by forcing individuals to violate deeply revered moral and religious beliefs.
The Obama administration has offered us far too many broken promises, and women are bearing the brunt of his disastrous policies. Women elected Mr. Obama in 2008 based on his empty promises, but the health care law has opened our eyes to his deception. Mr. Obama promised the law would lower health care costs. In reality, the law raises insurance premiums by $900 per year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. At a time when families are living on shoestring budgets just to make ends meet, the law aims to increase coverage by imposing 21 new or higher taxes.
We can shop across state lines for all types of goods and services, and it should be no different with health care. This is why we are fighting in Congress to pass the Health Care Choices Act, which aims to repeal Title I of Obamacare and provide cooperative governing of individual health insurance coverage offered in interstate commerce.
Furthermore, interstate health insurance commerce will result in lower coverage costs by facilitating competition among insurance providers. By simply applying the law of supply and demand, consumers collectively will determine the market price for insurance and encourage diverse forms of coverage plans. This is the type of reform families want and need.
It's time we stand behind elected officials who are fighting for real solutions that work. We support increasing choice and options, decreasing cost and mandates, simplifying the system for patients and providers, restoring the cuts Obamacare made to Medicare, and working to make health care tax-free.
As former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert used to say, "We shouldn't be forcing people to buy a Cadillac when all they need is a Chevy." It's time to put Americans in the driver's seat on health care. It's time to put the brakes on the high cost and low quality of health care. It's time to replace Obamacare.
Penny Young Nance is president and CEO of Concerned Women for America. Rep. Marsha Blackburn is a Republican from Tennessee.
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