Awaiting the Supreme Court’s Decision on ObamaCare
Two months have passed since the controversial health care law (commonly referred to as ObamaCare) was argued before the Supreme Court. Any day now, we expect a decision. In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s ruling, House Republicans are preparing for a host of outcomes. What if only the individual mandate is thrown out? What if the court strikes two or three provisions? What if the entire law is rejected? Last week, I sat down with several of my colleagues, including Paul Ryan and Dr. Phil Roe to try and answer some of these questions.
Often incorrectly labeled as the ‘party of no solutions,’ it may come as a surprise that House Republicans have a lengthy list of reforms we’d like to see implemented with respect to health care. Dozens of my colleagues have ideas and bills. Many of us would like to drive down costs with competition across state lines. Many of us want to see greater patient choice when it comes to selecting doctors and hospitals. And many of us want more flexibility in creating insurance pools. The list goes on, but the bottom line is that we have a catalog of ideas that should be openly debated and fleshed out in the hopes of achieving more patient-centered and cost effective care.
One of the biggest problems I had with the health care bill was summed up nicely by Nancy Pelosi when she said that Congress had "to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it." Even today, I’m dumbfounded by this quote and the sentiment behind it. We are here to serve the people and to do their business. The manner in which the health care bill was adopted was atrocious. The sheer size of the bill, the time allotted for Members to read the bill, the backroom deals to secure votes for the bill – this list of transgressions is as endless as it is appalling. If the Supreme Court throws out ObamaCare and Republicans have an opportunity to start fresh, I can assure you that the process will be open, extensive, and deliberative. As Members of Congress we owe the American people nothing less.
As you probably know, my hope is that the Court finds the entire health care law unconstitutional. Consequently, Congress would get to start over. If we are to remain among the best in the world, I believe this is crucial for our nation, our health care system, and the thousands of people – here and abroad – who rely on it. Whether you look at our cancer survival rates, or you ask the thousands of foreigners who come to the U.S. each year for medical care they can’t get at home, the U.S. is a global leader in cutting-edge drug and biological treatment programs and advancing medical procedures. I fear that ObamaCare, if upheld, could put an end to this.
May I also remind you, if ObamaCare remains untouched, as many experts have already demonstrated, Medicare – a lifeline for our seniors – will be changed significantly. In addition to the $500 billion in cuts, seniors will soon have a group of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats (the Independent Payment Advisory Board or IPAB) making certain health care decisions for them. Despite repeatedly messing things up, one might wonder why some in Washington arrogantly believe that they know what is best for our seniors. I wonder too.
As we await the High Court’s decision, I hope you all will start to think about how your medical coverage could be better. What types of changes do you think will make care more effective for you and your family? I hope you’ll share this with me, regardless of the Court’s decision, so that I can continue to serve you in Washington. In the coming days, let’s hope that a government takeover is rejected and health care is put back in the hands of those who know best – doctors and patients.
As always, if you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my offices. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.