Thursday, March 17, 2011

Boren: Why I Voted To Repeal Obamacare

By Congressman Dan Boren, writing for Politico

We are one year removed from the passage of the Affordable Care Act and nearly two months past a vote in the House to repeal it.

Since that first vote was cast, my constituents remind me at every town hall meeting I hold that they are overwhelmingly opposed to this law.

That is why I supported repeal.

They are aware, as am I, that we have many uninsured Oklahomans who need assistance. Many voters also agree that reforms are needed to address the issue of rising health insurance premiums, the staggering number of medical bankruptcies and the burden that health care costs have on small-business growth and job creation.

But as the debate for health care reform moved along in the summer of 2009, the sheer size and scope of what the Obama administration had proposed were more than enough to convince me — and a significant majority of my constituents — that this was not the solution to America’s health care problems.

In fact, a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling in my district in March 2010, just weeks after Congress voted on final passage of this legislation, showed that just 17 percent of my constituents supported the law.

The most disappointing aspect of the health care reform debate is the fact that a majority of Americans support several reforms that Congress could have addressed in a bipartisan and incremental way.

Provisions such as preventing companies from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions, allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and making it illegal to cancel insurance coverage when a person becomes sick are all common-sense reforms that share a broad level of support among a majority of Americans.

Rather than taking a bipartisan approach and tackling these issues incrementally, Congress and President Barack Obama produced a 2,000-page bill that dramatically expanded the federal government’s role in the private sector, placed burdensome mandates on small businesses and individuals and increased taxes during an economic downturn.

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