March 20,2013

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Hatch on Costs and Consequences of President’s Health Law

Utah Senator Says, “Heading Into Its Three-Year Anniversary, We Know That ObamaCare Will Lead To Higher Health Care Costs, Fewer Jobs, and Smaller Paychecks For American Families.”

WASHINGTON – At a news conference today with U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) outlined the costs and consequences of the President’s health law, highlighting legislation he’s introduced to repeal the employer and individual mandates, the health insurance tax (HIT), and the medical device tax that are key components of the law.

Hatch delivered the following remarks at today’s news conference:

The President’s signature policy achievement – his health care law - is bad for America. It’s over $1 trillion in tax hikes, almost 20,000 pages of regulations and costs $2.6 trillion is why I continue to support its full repeal. Heading into its three-year anniversary, we know that ObamaCare will lead to higher health care costs, fewer jobs, and smaller paychecks for American families.  

We are here today because we all have legislation that would take down parts of this ill-conceived law.  I’ve introduced two bills with Senator Alexander – our Ranking Member on the HELP Committee.  The first to repeal the individual insurance mandate – the requirement that everyone purchase insurance.  This is a tremendous overreach of federal power – the government should not be dictating what people can and cannot purchase.  The second would repeal the job-killing employer mandate. That provision would hit employers with $150 billion in new taxes, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and lead to an estimated 3.2 million lost jobs, according to the Hudson Institute.

I’ve also introduced bipartisan legislation repealing the medical device tax, which is a tax on innovation and a job-killer.  This will cost device manufacturers roughly $194 million per month and put 43,000 American jobs at risk.  

And as Senator Barrasso discussed, we’ve joined together to repeal the health insurance tax, which will do nothing more than increase health costs for businesses and families, which, by the National Federation of Independent Business’s (NFIB) estimate, could cost over 200,000 jobs.

Some of you might be thinking, Democrats control the Senate, so you guys don’t have a chance of passing these bills.  I’ll let Senator Johanns talk about his successful effort to repeal the 1099 paperwork requirement in the law.  But let me say this: the medical device tax repeal bill was a partisan bill last Congress.  This Congress, we have four Senate Democrats backing it.  And the health insurance tax repeal bill’s lead cosponsor in the House is fellow Utahn, Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson.

The bottom line is that the more the American people know the costs, consequences and problems with this law, the more Democrats will join us in taking on some of its most egregious parts.  

Furthermore, I have zero confidence that this law will be successfully implemented.  None.  There’s no way the Obama Administration will have the exchanges ready in time – by this Fall – and this will cause mass confusion across America.  

And the cost will bust through any estimates we had when we debated this bill over three years ago.  We know the premium subsidy tax credits will cost far more than initially thought as more employers drop insurance coverage, because of the law --- pushing more people to get these government insurance subsidies.  

Ultimately, ObamaCare is even worse today than I thought it would be when the President signed it into law almost three years ago.