Congressman Jim Bridenstine

Representing the 1st District of Oklahoma
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Congressman Jim Bridenstine Votes Against HR 3350 “Keep Your Health Plan Act”

Nov 15, 2013
Press Release
Washington, DC, November 15, 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Today the House considered a bill titled the “Keep Your Health Plan Act”.  I voted against it.  While this is a well-intentioned messaging bill, this law would place the President’s lie on the shoulders of Congress.  Since insurance companies cannot alter course on a dime, Congress cannot keep this promise any more than the President. 

Passing HR 3350 does not make the Affordable Care Act constitutional.  The federal government is compelling individual citizens to buy a product they would not otherwise buy, and that is unconstitutional.  Simply grandfathering plans that were previously available does not make the coercion constitutional.

Obamacare cannot be fixed and Congress should not be passing laws to try to keep it alive and punish millions of Americans.  Now is the time for Congress to make a binary decision:  Are you for Obamacare or against it?

Obamacare is punishing millions of Americans.  The employer mandate caused layoffs, thwarted job creation, pushed people into part-time work, and forced companies to drop employees from health insurance.  Seeing this in June, the President delayed the employer mandate by decree.

Since 2010, the individual insurance market has been attempting to create plans that adhere to Obamacare’s essential health benefits (EHB) requirements.  As predicted, these requirements are very costly and the costs are now being passed to the consumer.  Premiums are skyrocketing for new plans and individuals are being dropped from their previous plans.  Americans are being forced by the federal government to purchase benefits they don’t need, don’t want, and cannot afford.  Seeing this, yesterday the President delayed EHB requirements by decree. 

The insurance companies have said the reversal is unworkable.  They have spent years preparing for Obamacare implementation and it can’t be reversed on a dime.  In short, people are still going to lose their health insurance.  As such, legislators should pass no law owning the President’s promise that “if you like your health insurance you can keep it.” 

In addition to creating more dependency, the President is using this law to pick and choose who gets waivers, which plans are grandfathered, and what businesses are advantaged.  He continues to unilaterally choose whether or not to enforce major provisions of the law.

It is time to stop passing “messaging” bills.  Congress must repeal Obamacare.  Trying to “fix” it only compounds the mess, multiplies the uncertainties, and leaves more Americans at jeopardy regarding their healthcare insurance.  The President cannot shift the responsibility for his failure onto private insurance companies.  The free market could handle matching customers with insurance products, but not under the heavy hand of government steering it to achieve political objectives.

 

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