Obamacare is beyond any repair

Published 4:25 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2015

By U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne

Since being elected the Congressman for Alabama’s 1st Congressional District, I have heard from more constituents upset about Obamacare than any other issue. As we kicked off the 114th Congress last week, the attention was once again back on Obamacare.

The House voted on two separate bills that would repeal or make changes to certain provisions of the law. First, the Hire More Heroes Act exempts veterans who already receive health care through the Department of Defense or the VA from being counted towards the number of employees required by Obamacare’s employer mandate. This bill passed the House 406-1.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Second, the House passed the Save American Workers Act. That legislation repeals Obamacare’s definition of “full-time employment” as 30 hours and restores the traditional 40-hour workweek. This legislation passed on a vote of 252 to 172, including the support of 12 Democrats.

Sadly, but not surprising, the White House was quick to announce their opposition to the Save American Workers Act before the bill even passed the House. Despite repeatedly offering to work with Republicans in Congress to fix Obamacare, the White House is now refusing to even consider real changes to the law.

The whole debate has made one thing perfectly clear to me: Obamacare cannot be fixed. This law is beyond repair. No quick legislative fix can make this law work for the countless American families who have already been negatively impacted, including many families in south Alabama.

I have now toured each of the hospitals in southwest Alabama, in addition to visiting many family doctors, clinics and specialists. It is clear Obamacare is turning the American health care industry completely upside down. We can’t simply try to fix the law piece by piece, especially when the Obama White House is threatening to veto even the smallest of changes.

The real answer to improving health care in this country lies with completely repealing Obamacare. That’s why I am proud to co-sponsor legislation by Congressman Steve King (R-IA) that would repeal Obamacare in its entirety. Now, I certainly believe we must come behind the repeal with a replacement law that is based on free-market principles and isn’t run by the federal government. I look forward to working with my colleagues, especially those in the health care industry, to draft the best replacement plan.

In November, the American people sent a loud and clear message that they are tired of business as usual from Washington, and the people want to see bold legislative action that rolls back the failed policies of President Obama. Small fixes to Obamacare aren’t enough, and they won’t solve the real problem.

I will continue to be a strong proponent for a complete repeal of Obamacare, and I have asked House leaders to bring a full repeal up for a vote in the near future. We must act boldly and deliberately on behalf of the American people.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne represents Alabama’s 1st Congressional District, which includes Escambia County.