Aug 02 2013

Yellowhammer: Shelby says Obamacare is a Failure

Shelby: ObamaCare is a Failure

WASHINGTON – Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, took to the Senate floor on Thursday to attack President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care reform law, better known as ObamaCare.

Shelby disputed Obama’s argument that the law has failed to succeed due to Republican attacks.

“ObamaCare is not a failure because so many Americans reject it,” Shelby said. “Rather, so many Americans reject ObamaCare because it is a failure. Mr. President, we should focus on what really matters.  Americans are growing increasingly anxious about how the law will affect them and their families. They wonder what it will mean for their health insurance and tax bills.”

“They wonder whether they will be able to get the care they need, when they need it,” he continued. “They wonder whether the quality of American health care will remain the best in the world. And they wonder how a government reorganization of one-sixth of the economy will impact a weak jobs market. Unfortunately, Mr. President, neither the outset nor the outlook provides consolation.”

Some of the areas of concern Shelby laid out involved what President Barack Obama has called “glitches and bumps” at the outset of the implementation of the law, how the law has not lived up to promises to reduce costs for the taxpayers, how it has actually limited access to quality health care in some regards, and its impact on employment.

The administration recently announced postponement of a critical taxpayer protection under ObamaCare.  Taxpayers were previously told that the government would verify that applicants actually qualify for subsidies before receiving them. According to Sen. Shelby, that is no longer the case.

“The Obama administration now says it’s not ready to do that until 2015 — although it will still go ahead with enrollment in 2014,” Shelby explained. “So, for the coming year, the Obama administration will trust but not verify. Mr. President, the honor system is no taxpayer protection. Mr. President, these are not run-of-the-mill glitches and bumps. These provisions are central to the legislation and may foreshadow major problems to come. Moreover, Mr. President, these provisions are unworkable or problematic not because people don’t like them, but because they were poorly designed. This isn’t about a lack of commitment on behalf of those forced to comply with these mandates. Rather, it’s about a lack of competence on behalf of those who conceived and crafted them.”

Shelby went on to attack Obama for the partisan nature of the plan and how it was passed into law with no Republican votes. He encouraged his colleagues to repeal the law and to go back to the drawing board and create a new plan.

“President Obama rammed his health care legislation through Congress without a single Republican vote,” Shelby added. “Why, Mr. President? Because he knew didn’t need our votes to put the entire nation under his health care plan. Yet now he claims that ObamaCare works for those who are ‘committed to it.’ Mr. President, Republicans are committed to finding solutions that actually lower health costs; that do not tax and spend us into oblivion — that preserve the world’s highest quality health care and that foster economic growth. We have said all along that ObamaCare would fail on each of these counts. Opposition to ObamaCare is not responsible for its failures, and commitment to it will not negate its deep flaws. Mr. President, the only way to achieve the goals we all share is to begin by repealing this failed law so we can replace it with a plan that works.”