Bracing for impact of new health care law

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Families and job creators across Missouri and the nation are bracing for impact as some of the first provisions of the president's health care law take effect.

This comes after months of delays and reports of glitches that have troubled this costly government overhaul since its passage more than three years ago. Yet, more Americans admit they are still wary of and unfamiliar with the law.

While the White House continues its attempts to sell the president's health care plan, families and job creators aren't the only ones confused about the law. The Obama Administration has announced it will hold brown-bag lunches and informational webinars to explain the basic components of the Affordable Care Act to the same employees responsible for implementation.

Meanwhile, if dwindling support, confusion, and chaos weren't bad enough, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) recently found that the administration has missed 41 of 82 of the health care law's legally imposed implementation deadlines and formally delayed several components.

This includes the employer mandate requirement, which the White House all but admitted was unworkable by announcing its delay for one year. It is simply unfair to delay the mandate that requires employers to provide insurance or pay a penalty, yet still force individuals to pay a penalty who don't have insurance. If the President believes employers need protection from his health care law's costly mandate, then the rest of America deserves the same protection.

Despite the employer mandate delay announcement, the health care law is still crushing small businesses, workers, and middle-class families. I continue to hear from owners of businesses big and small trying to figure out how to plan and stay afloat as implementation of the law gets closer and we learn more about the burdens it will place on hardworking Americans.

Recent surveys show more than 250 employers have already cut jobs, slashed hours, or taken other steps to avoid the high costs and job-killing regulations associated with the health care law, and 71 percent of small businesses say the law makes it harder to hire more workers.

Furthermore, the Obama Administration has revealed that it will significantly scale back the requirements for new state-based insurance marketplaces to verify consumers' income and health insurance status, and instead rely more heavily on consumers' self-reported estimates until 2015.

These are only a few examples of the alarming pattern of bumps and glitches, delays, and broken promises that continues to plague the President's health care law implementation.

With half of the deadlines unmet and Americans unable to plan for the future and left struggling to understand the cloudy details of this flawed law, one thing remains clear: the health care law is unraveling.

Americans deserve common-sense health care solutions that put patients and doctors in charge -- not government bureaucrats at the IRS or elsewhere.

Rather than a partial delay for some, we need a permanent delay for all. That's why I've voted for and co-sponsored several measures in the House and Senate to defund and repeal this flawed law, and I will work to make our current health care system work better. We have benefited from the best health care system in the world, but we can make the changes that give everyone access to high quality health care.