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Cantor: GOP healthcare reform repeal key to getting economy back on track

House Majority Leader Rep. Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorFeehery: The governing party 'Release the memo' — let's stop pretending that Democrats are the defenders of the FBI Raúl Labrador, a model for Hispanic politicians reaching higher MORE (R-Va.) on Saturday touted Republican efforts to repeal healthcare reform as a key component in their effort to get the economy back on track.

In the weekly GOP address, Cantor argued that the healthcare law was actually discouraging employers from hiring new employees, and could even be driving further unemployment as the nation tries to dig out from the economic recession.

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“At a time when we need to do everything in our power to encourage job creation, the healthcare law hangs around the necks of businesses small and large, causing them to not hire new workers — or worse, be forced to let current employees go,” he said. “Just as harmful, businesses that would currently be hiring more employees are re-evaluating their decisions and in some cases sitting on large piles of cash. With each day that ObamaCare remains law and continues to engulf our healthcare system, this destructive pattern continues and too many Americans remain without a job.

“It has now been 10 months since ObamaCare was signed into law. And it is telling that the more Americans learn about it, the more discouraged they are by its harmful effects. The law is fundamentally flawed because it enables federal bureaucrats to come between patients and their doctors, limiting choices,” he added.

House Republicans have said they will vote on a bill repealing healthcare reform on Jan. 12. However, Democrats are arguing that doing so would cause Republicans to violate their campaign promise of cutting spending, since the Congressional Budget Office determined that repealing the law would add $230 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years.

Cantor rebutted those claims by contending that Democrats who drafted the healthcare law used budgetary tricks to throw off an accurate scoring of the law’s true impact on the deficit.

“Despite claims of reducing deficits and saving taxpayer dollars, the new law is riddled with budget gimmicks that double count savings, offset six years of benefits with 10 years of tax increases, and rely on cuts to Medicare and tax increases to fund a new entitlement,” he said. “The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office works hard to provide accurate accounting, but they are only able to score the legislation put in front of them – even if it includes budget gimmicks and fiscal shell games designed to hide its true cost.”

Republicans, who now have a substantial majority in the House, are expected to pass the repeal legislation, but that effort is expected to stall in the Senate, where Democrats still retain a slim majority. Furthermore, President Obama has already threatened to veto the repeal bill if it were to make it to his desk.

Cantor said that after Republicans pass repeal legislation in the House, they will turn their focus to increased scrutiny of the healthcare reform law while developing their own alternative healthcare proposal.

“Republicans care about healthcare. We simply disagree that excessive government regulation and sweeping mandates on individuals and businesses are the right way to go about it. The status quo is unacceptable, and we understand that the key to real healthcare reform is to lower costs and improve access,” he said. “That is why after the House passes repeal of ObamaCare, we’ll begin a two-step process of conducting continued oversight of the continued harm that it is doing to our economy and our healthcare system, as well as beginning work on a new vision to improve our healthcare system without bankrupting our country.

“The best boost that Congress can provide to the economy is to send a credible signal that we are serious about cutting spending and eliminating job-killing regulations. Our surging debt burden hangs over the economy like a dark cloud, waiting to unleash a storm of inflation, higher taxes and higher borrowing costs upon businesses and families. Only when the cloud is lifted can we get on the path to long-term growth,” he said.